Itís pretty much the same as any overly-sentimental movie involving an adult, a child, and valuable lessons learned; however, Cusack has the chops to pull it off. The role of David Gordon doesnít exactly stretch the manís acting abilities, but his interaction with the titular kid feels almost effortless, be it the funny misunderstandings, serious moments or the couple geeky spots. Not many people could make an ultra-sappy tearjerker drama and still come off as cool as Cusack does.
A decent supporting cast is there to help Cusack pass the time. Amanda Peet never ceases being cute and endearing, but the forced romantic subplot feels superficial and justÖnot right. Thankfully, and understandably, John has better chemistry with his sister Joan. Their killer banter in GROSSE POINT BLANK still remains their collaborative pinnacle, but Iíll gladly take the few minutes of snarky arguing they share here. Oliver Platt also shows up as Oliver Platt Signature Performance #3. If youíre behind on your Platt, thatís the one where he plays the smooth talking, money-hungry asskisser. I should also mention Bobby Coleman, who does a fine job as the potential alien offspring and maintains a good balance of creepy and cute (although the character can get a little grating at times with his weirdness).
Itís hard to critique MARTIAN CHILD on anything besides its cast, since theyíre really the only interchangeable part in a fairly standard formula movie. Still, itís a decent uplifting family film (pretty much devoid of cursing or other morally objectionable material), one thatís so sappy it pretty much guilts you in to at least mildly liking it.
Deleted Scenes (27:15): All fourteen clips are pretty much forgettable, save for one instance of the kid seriously cockblocking Cusack.
Handle With Care (24:20): A pretty detailed feature on child actor Bobby Coleman and his process of working on the movie from audition through filming. Itís always nice to see kid actors enjoying themselves before the inevitable teenage years of drugs, alcohol and debauchery.
The Real Martian Child (13:23): The movie was based on a short story by David Gerrold, which in turn was based on his own experiences adopting and raising a boy as a single father. Here Gerrold and son speak about the events that inspired the film, which adds another dimension to the story.
Trailers and Previews.
Extra Tidbit: David Gerrold, who penned the original MARTIAN CHILD short story, is also the writer of the classic Star Trek episode, The Trouble With Tribbles.