Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Martian Child

I'm pleased to put my crankyness on a shelf long enough to offer a rave review. Recently, I had the pleasure of watching The Martian Child, starring John Cusack.

Caveats: I'm a big John Cusack fan (Joan, too) and that probably added to my enjoyment of this sweet, gentle movie. And in the interest of sanitizing the story for broader appeal, the son's earlier abuse and the father's homosexuality were omitted. Too bad, it might have made the story more interesting. Now, on to the raving.

Everyone at one time or another has felt that heartbreaking loneliness of being a weirdo, not fitting in, being too different. This is a story about a science fiction writer, David, who has become a very lonely widower. He remembers being the kid who didn't fit in, and when he decides he's ready to love again, David sets out to adopt a kid who shares those same oddball qualities. It's a very rocky road as they first study each other from a somewhat detached, scientific standpoint, then slowly learn how to open their hearts to each other. The best parent in the world (by birth or adoption) is one who loves us not despite our weirdness, but because of it.

I enjoyed one of the Extra Features as much as the movie: an interview with author David Gerrold. The story was based on his real-life experience adopting his son, now an adult who also offers a few comments. Their bond is evident, and it is clear that they saved each other. If you want a good story without violence, sex or profanity, here's a contender.

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