Martian Child


That was a BIG kiss to the wonderful friend who finally lit a fire under me to get this great, great 2007 DVD from the library. As recommended, I watched the extras and was reminded that the screenplay is based on a story written by the man who experienced it. Short story writer David Gerrold may already be a part of your life if you ever watched or loved Star Trek; he wrote, "The Trouble With Tribbles."

Over a decade ago, he realized his life wasn't going where he wanted, so he adopted a little boy who was "hard to place." He found a child who had rationalized that he felt different from other children so he must be from Mars. The dedicated producers spent almost ten years finding the funds, adapting the story, assembling the cast and finally shooting this sweet, heartwarming, family film.

The prolific and dependable John Cusack ("Must Love Dogs," "Say Anything," "Grosse Pointe Blank," "The Sure Thing," "Grace is Gone," "Serendipity," "Being John Malkovich" and "The Jack Bull" ...should I go on?) is once again joined by his sister Joan ("In and Out," "Raising Helen," "High Fidelity," "Runaway Bride," ...all the way back to "Sixteen Candles." She was the geeky girl in the neck brace!) who, once again, is playing his sister. Hey! Isn't that type casting?

Despite well-meaning advice from friends, family and professionals, our hero ventures into the daunting task of trying to "find" this kid and create a relationship with him. (The boy spends most of the first few visits in a cardboard box!) If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that ALL parents are amateurs. No one REALLY knows what he or she is doing; we just jump in, do our best and keep our fingers crossed! (And a child really is a little alien for the first eight or ten years of his or her life.)

No blowie uppie stuff, no sweaty bodies, no car chases or gun fights, just a decent man trying to provide a decent home for a little boy who hasn't had much luck, so far... The generous (captioned!) extras have inter- views with both the author and the (now grown) "Martian Child," so you know going in, that this terrific film will have a happy ending.