John Cusack stars in this inspirational and uplifting journey as a lonely science-fiction writer who adopts a boy who claims to be from Mars. With the help of his quirky friend (Amanda Peet) and his sister (Joan Cusack), this new father discovers that being a parent means anything is possible.
Well acted but ultimately disappointing.
- Martian Child review by Shatner's Bassoon
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A slightly sanitised version of the book of the same name by David Gerrold, Martian Child tells the story of David Gordon, a science fiction writer who along with his wife plan to adopt a young boy named Dennis who has serious emotional problems. When David’s wife suddenly dies the adoption plans are terminated, though on a visit to the orphanage David forms a fragile bond with the little boy who hides alone in a cardboard box and claims he is from Mars. After taking the decision to adopt the boy as a single parent the film follows the difficult relationship between the two as David tries to bring some sort of normality to Dennis’ life all the while having to deal with the boy’s worrying behaviour and his own grief at losing his wife. David Gerrold’s original book was far edgier with the character of David being a gay single man who forms a bond with a troubled child over his own childhood experiences of being a loner and outcast, with the film you get the sense they polished away too many of the rough edges to get a story that would play to a mainstream audience, and while John Cusack puts in a very good performance the resulting film often comes across as bland, predictable and ultimately disappointing.