The Martian Child. A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son. David Gerrold. Those who stick with 'Martian Child' won't entirely avoid mush, but they will find terrific performances by John Cusack, as the parental unit,.
What's the nature of being a parent and of being a child? David is a widower grieving for two years. He writes science fiction and was considered weird as a boy. He meets Dennis, a foster child who claims to be on a mission from Mars, stays in a large box all day, fears sunlight, and wears a belt of flashlight batteries so he won't float away. David takes the six-year-old home on a trial. His sister and his wife's best friend offer support, but the guys are basically alone to figure this out.
Dennis takes things, is expelled, and is coached by David in being normal. Will the court approve the adoption, and will Dennis stay?
Can a man become a father and a child become a son? Humor and heart blend well in MARTIAN CHILD (MaCh), adapted by Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins from science fiction writer David Gerrold's real-life story (except that gay David Gerrold is portrayed here as straight widower David Gordon) of adopting a little boy who'd been mistreated and abandoned so many times, he'd come to believe he was from Mars. As funny and winsome as it is poignant, MaCh is one of the few films about an unconventional family life that doesn't pile on eccentricity for eccentricity's own sake, showing that it's possible to build a happy life and learn to love others despite the personal flaws and developmental/emotional issues of everyone involved. I loved the rapport and chemistry between David and his adopted son Dennis, portrayed endearingly by the ever-appealing John Cusack (reuniting with his MAX director Menno Meyjes) and young Bobby Coleman.
It made me think of the scene in GROSSE POINTE BLANK with Cusack's Martin Blank holding a baby, looking at it with this delightful mixture of puzzlement and wonder. (Could that baby have grown up to be Dennis?:-)). The life of a science fiction writer gets some good-natured ribbing, too, in scenes where David has to deal with his agent (Oliver Platt, reuniting with Cusack after his scene-stealing turn in THE ICE HARVEST. Now that Cusack's longtime bud and co-star Jeremy Piven has a steady gig with TV's ENTOURAGE, has Platt become Cusack's new Piven?:-)) and his publisher (I won't spoil the wonderful cameo).
Joan Cusack also turns up to provide able support for her bro as David's married sister, full of harried yet sage advice: 'The thing about kids is, they keep coming at you.' In fact, her family scenes often cracked me up, like her admonishment to her rambunctious boys (or as she affectionately calls them, 'Omen One and Omen Two'): 'Get off that dog! He's 200 years old in human years. Would you do that to Grandma?' I loved her husband's attitude: 'Hey, all kids are from Mars. At least your kid admits it.'
Although MaCh takes time to have fun even when things get serious (loved David and Dennis's Martian walk/dance to the Guster song 'Satellite') and is generally upbeat, with quite a bit of gentle humor, it doesn't shy away from showing the difficulties of adopting an emotionally scarred child, with the frustration and sadness inherent in such a situation. Having adopted our niece after my mother-in-law died, I can tell you from personal experience that picking up in the middle of raising somebody else's child is a challenge even in the best of circumstances, and MaCh captures this aspect well. It also shows that parents, especially those of us raising kids with special needs, often walk a fine line between accommodating a kid's genuine needs and being overly if well-meaningly indulgent. We've adapted David's advice to Dennis for our own child, who was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome: 'When you're at home, it's okay to be from Mars. But when you're out in the world, you have to follow Earth rules.' Perhaps you have to have experience in these kind of family situations to best appreciate MaCh (I've noticed that real-life parents tend to appreciate it more than, say, professional film critics:-)). MARTIAN CHILD should be required viewing for unconventional parents of children with emotional or developmental issues and other serious problems.
By the way, when I saw MaCh in our local multiplex, there were a number of parents seeing the film with kids (not tiny tykes, but elementary school age and older), and they all seemed to enjoy it, too.
Contents.Plot David Gordon, a popular author, widowed two years prior as they were trying to adopt a child, is finally matched with a young boy, Dennis. Initially hesitant to adopt alone, he is drawn to Dennis because he sees aspects of himself and his own awkward childhood in the boy.Dennis suffers from the delusion that he is from. He protects himself from the sun's harmful rays, wears weights to counter earth's weak gravity, eats only, and hangs upside down to facilitate his circulation.
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He refers often to his mission to understand earth and its people, taking pictures, stealing things to catalog, and spending time consulting an ambiguous toy-like device with flashing lights that produces seemingly unintelligible words.Once David decides to adopt Dennis, he spends time getting to know the boy, patiently coaxing him out of the large cardboard box he hides in. Soon, David is cleared to take Dennis home and they meet David's dog, 'Somewhere.' In Dennis's bedroom is a projector of the solar system that he pronounces inaccurate. With the help of David's friend Harlee and sister Liz, David tries to help Dennis overcome his delusion by both indulging it and encouraging him to act like everyone else. Dennis attends school but is quickly expelled for repeatedly stealing items for his collection. Frustrated, David tells Liz that perhaps Dennis is from Mars.Meanwhile, David's literary agent, Jeff, encourages David to finish writing his sequel book, already commissioned, which is due soon. David struggles to make time for writing but is regularly pulled away from his to deal with Dennis.
While sitting down to write, a flash from Dennis's catches him off-guard and he accidentally breaks some glass. David picks Dennis up and carries him across the room. Dennis, upset by David's abrupt action, fears he is going to be sent away. David explains that he was just worried he'd get cut by the glass and that he loves Dennis more than his material possessions. Assuring him that he will never send him away, he encourages Dennis to break more things. They move to the kitchen and break dishes and then spray ketchup and dish detergent at each other.
Lefkowitz, the decision-maker from Social Services, appears in the window and discovers the mayhem. He rebukes David and sets up a case review.David encourages Dennis to be from Mars only at home; though he must to be from Earth everywhere else. Dennis passes his interview by saying he was pretending and continues in David's care. Later, David, now Dennis's adopted father, tries to insist that Dennis acknowledge being from Earth, to which Dennis responds with hurt and anger. David leaves Dennis with Liz to attend the reveal of his new book, which is supposed to be the sequel to his first book. David confesses to Tina, the publisher, that he has not written a sequel, but rather a new book titled, Martian Child, about Dennis.
In her fury, Tina makes a scene at the party, but takes the manuscript as David leaves to be with Dennis.Meanwhile, Dennis has walked away from the house, together with his suitcase of earthly artifacts. When David arrives and finds the police at the house and learns the boy is gone, he remembers the place Dennis had identified as where he was found. David asks Harlee to drive him to the location, where they spot Dennis high up on the outside ledge of the museum's domed roof.
David climbs up to where Dennis is as the police and Liz arrive. Dennis identifies a bright searchlight in a nearby cloud as someone coming to take him home, but David tries to assure him that it's just a helicopter. David pledges his love for Dennis and assures him that he will never ever leave him. Eventually Dennis gives in to trusting David and the two embrace.David's voiceover tells about the parallel of children who come into our world, struggling to understand it, being like little aliens. As Tina reads the manuscript aboard an airplane, she begins to cry.Cast. as David Gordon - Author and Dad. Zak Ludwig as young David.
as Dennis - 'Martian' and Son. as Harlee - Friend. as Sophie - Foster Mom. as Jeff - Agent.
as Liz Gordon - Sister and Aunt. as Tina - Publisher. as Lefkowitz - Child Services Authority.
as Dr. Berg. as AndyProduction Despite persistent misperceptions, this film is not based on 's, but rather is based on his fictional Hugo and Nebula Award-winning short story of the same name, which has caused much confusion about the source material, especially for Gerrold's fans in segments of the gay community. The short story does not reveal the fictionalized protagonist's homosexuality.
Only when, years later, Gerrold rewrote and expanded his story to novella length did he choose to reveal his sexuality. While Gerrold had, in real life, adopted a son as an openly gay man, in the film the protagonist is straight and has a female. Though Gerrold has acknowledged that his short story is a work of fiction, and despite the fact that the short story won numerous awards as a work of fiction, some members of gay community persisted in perpetuating the misperception that the short story was 'true' and criticized the lead role in the film being portrayed as straight.
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Release Box office Martian Child opened in 2,020 venues on November 2, 2007 and earned $3,376,669 in its first weekend, ranking seventh in the domestic box office and third among the weekend's new releases. The film closed six weeks later on December 13, having grossed $7,500,310 domestically and $1,851,434 overseas, totaling $9,351,744 worldwide.
Based on its estimated $27 million budget, the film was a.Critical reception The film received mixed reviews from critics. On, the film has a 33% score, based on 106 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10.
The site's consensus states: 'Despite some charms, overt emotional manipulation and an inconsistent tone prevents Martian Child from being the heartfelt dramedy it aspires to be.' Reports a 48 out of 100 rating, based on 26 critics, indicating 'mixed or average reviews'. Home media Martian Child was released on on February 12, 2008. It opened at #20 the DVD sales chart, selling 69,000 units for revenue of $1.3 million.
As per the latest figures, 400,000 DVD units have been sold, acquiring revenue of $7,613,945. This does not include DVD rentals/Blu-ray sales. The film is available on Netflix streaming. Awards AwardCategoryNomineeResultBest Family Feature FilmNominatedBest Performance by a Young ActorNominatedReferences.
December 13, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2016., May 8, 2007, blog entry from co-producer of Martian Child feature film; via archive.org (page may appear blank but text can be read using browser's 'article reader view' or 'view source'). Brian Juergens. Archived from on November 8, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
Archived from on June 13, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2008. November 5, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
Retrieved January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2018. Archived from on July 6, 2008.
Retrieved May 14, 2012.External links. on. at. at.