Douglas Adams' oft-adapted tale of an normal guy making his way through the universe (it's already been presented as a novel, a radio serial, a television series, and a comic book) finally makes its way to the big screen in this endearingly goofy sci-fi comedy. Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is a very ordinary man who is having a truly unusual day -- after discovering that one of his best friends, Ford Prefect (Mos Def), is actually an alien, Ford tells him that the planet Earth is going to be destroyed so that otherworldly forces can make room for construction of a hyperspace bypass. Since Arthur accidentally saved Ford's life years ago, Ford does him a favor -- he first gets him a ride on a spaceship passing by, and then presents him with a guidebook that will tell a beginner everything he needs to know as he hitchhikes through outer space. Along the way, Arthur encounters such interstellar notables as sleazy Galaxy president Zaphod Beebelbrox (Sam Rockwell), the girl of his dreams Tricia McMillan (Zooey Deschanel), perpetually glum robot Marvin (voice of Alan Rickman), interplanetary construction magnate Slartibartfast (Bill Nighy), and cult leader Humma Kavula (John Malkovich). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the first feature film for Garth Jennings, previously best known for his work in television commercials and music videos; he was recommended to the producers by director Spike Jonze after Jonze had to turn down an offer to head up the project.
by Mark Deming synopsis