Martian Child Menno Meyjes

Martian Child Menno Meyjes
John Cusack plays David Gordon, a science fiction writer who decides to adopt a child like he and his wife had been planning to do before she died. The child he ends up adopting is a strange duck named Dennis, who spent his days at the orphanage hiding in a box, away from the sun’s harmful rays. When David coaxes him out of his box, we’re treated to perhaps the palest child ever committed to film. I’m talking Chow Yun-Fat covered in flour at the end of the restaurant shootout in Hard Boiled pale (but with a little bit of red lipstick to make sure you notice). If you love films that feature multiple awkward attempts at parenting, John Cusack doing that overly wordy and supposedly charming Peter Pan performance that’s been wrinkling for about 20 years now, child actors that make you want to slap your television and clumsy romantic subplots starring Amanda Peet then Martian Child is going to blow your mind. You need to run to the nearest Blockbuster Video immediately to rent it. Every scene in Martian Child confounded me more than the last, and prevented me from believing that it was actually written by an adult. The closest thing to a worthwhile moment in the film is a moment of unintentional hilarity that speaks volumes about the author of the short story Martian Child is based on, and possibly even John Cusack. When he discovers that Dennis has stolen his driver’s license (as part of his mission to study humans), David furiously rummages through Dennis’s closet on the verge of tears and tells him that, "Adults get their feelings hurt, just like little boys.” I’m willing to bet that more than a few feelings are being hurt right now as the film is released on DVD just three months after its theatrical run. The DVD features a commentary by the producers and screenwriters of the film, nearly a half-hour of deleted scenes, a featurette on the child star of the film, an interview with the writer of the short story the film’s based on and the theatrical trailer. (Alliance Films)