“Martian Child” is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Menno Meyjes and prodiuced by New Line Cinema. The film stars John Cusack and Bobby Coleman. The movie runs 107 minutes and is rated PG.
David Gordon (John Cusack) a popular science fiction author, lost his wife Mary when they were in the process of adopting a child. David is still grieving two years later, when he is matched with a six year old Dennis (Bobby Coleman). Socially awkward, Dennis claims to be from Mars, stays in a large box all day, fears sunlight, and wears a belt of flashlight batteries so he won’t float away. Although hesitant to adopt a boy by himself, David takes Dennis home on a trial basis, subject to approval from the social worker. Dennis and David begin the process of getting to know each other. Dennis steals, is expelled from school and incessantly takes photos. David coaches Dennis in what it means to be normal. The movie creates tension over the issues of will the court approve the adoption and will Dennis stay?
Although heartwarming and inspirational this film raises a number of issues related to adoption including:
(1) The affects of parental abandonment on a young child
(2) The harmful results of many adult actions toward vulnerable children
(3) The ways in which people in the community discourage adoption
(4) The stamina required of any parent but especially an adoptive parent
In raising these issues the movie brings many issues about vulnerable children and adoption into public view. All those who work with children should be aware of how this film presents the child care segment of society. Those seeking to interest others in their work might find the film either helpful or detrimental.
New Line Cinema, part of Warner Brothers, brings a crucial issue in American society to the attention of all. Although listed as a comedy-drama, it tugs at the heart more than it tickles the funny bone.