This movie starred John Cusack as David, a still-grieving widower, and Bobby Coleman as Dennis, an orphan with an amazing origin: he believes he’s from Mars. Quiet and introverted, he lives in a box (to avoid the damaging rays of the Earth’s sun) and wears a weight belt (Earth’s gravitational pull is inadequate).
David and his wife had considered adopting when she was alive. With her now gone, David wanted to honor her wishes. Since he’s a science fiction writer, he’s matched up with Dennis. David wants to be a perfect father, and at first he allows Dennis to work out their relationship through the eyes of a Martian. But soon the pressure, both internal and external, causes David to wonder if he’s made a mistake.
I understand the story was loosely based on a true account. I’m not sure how much was loose and how much was tight, so I’ll leave that alone.
Altogether I thought the movie was sweet, but at times I thought David was overreacting or oversensitive. He seemed very patient and loving with little Dennis, and Dennis seemed typically imaginative for someone his age. Yet David was convinced he was failing, and I’m not sure why.
And why the “adoption board” expected David to immediately “cure” Dennis is beyond me. They were ready to take Dennis out of his care for it–yet it was while Dennis was in foster care that his coping mechanism began to take root anyhow! It all seemed very contrived, for the sake of adding drama to the story.
And even though Dennis was very adorable and sweetly imaginative, after a while his whispery/throaty voice grated my nerves. I wished he would just speak up already!
The end was a little predictable.
I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.