John Cusack is one of those actors that I like so much that I'd see anything that he was in. I'm really surprised to not see him as a more bankable star. His talent in acting is top notch and his roles are always endearing. The previews for this movie made it seem like he had picked another role he could excel in.
Menno Meyjes directs this flick and he has limited credits to his name. However his camera work in this movie and the ability to tell a wonderful story is splendidly done. He knows how to not rush this story, how to keep the audience guessing just a little bit, and using the acting talent of Cusack and the little boy to unfold this great story.
This story is about David (Cusack) who is a widower and has not been able to get over the loss of his wife for over two years. He is a science fiction writer and it helps him to draw his attention to a little boy who can be adopted. David does indeed decide to adopt the little boy. However, this little boy is special. This little boy believes he is a Martian. Dennis (Bobby Coleman), wears sunglasses to protect him from a much closer sun than he was use to on Mars, wears batteries on his special belt so he won't float away from the weaker atmosphere of Earth, he can taste color, and can make Marian wishes. Or so he claims. David is drawn to this little boy and he plays into his make believe world a little bit. However, the strain of dealing with a child that acts as "weird" as Dennis does puts stress on David and his life. If Dennis is not a good fit, then the state will take him away from David and he will stay under the care of the state again. David also has a hard time with being a father rather than a friend. However, with no main woman in their lives, it's just David and Dennis to figure out each other as well as try and stay together.
John Cusack is once again wonderful in this movie. The way in which he approached this role was that he was distant with his co-star in the beginning so that he wouldn't become attached to him until later, just as his character and his co-star's character do in the movie. This was a great move and you really do see the relationship grow and develop as the movie progresses. Bobby Coleman is a great, young actor. He almost outshines Cusack in this film! The range of emotion the kid has is natural talent and he can do so much with the dry lines he has to work with. The other people in the movie are good but it's amazing to watch both these actors and their characters interact and try to figure each other out. It's almost as if they were from two different planets.
Grade - A+
This movie was actually based on a true story and what a touching story it was. This movie has its funny moments and it has its drama but the main stay of the movie is the relationship David and Dennis form. It's an amazing movie that really does touch your heart. Some people might compare this movie to "K-Pax" and for a few minutes in the movie I really thought they were going to go the route of "Is he or isn't he a Martian". However, that was quickly stopped. The final scene of this movie is just so compelling and awesome. It's full of drama and tears and you find yourself rooting for both the characters and if you're not on the verge of tears by then then you probably don't like the movie. To see Cusack and Coleman whose characters are both unique and lovable interact and try to figure each other out, make for a great story and a touching movie.