I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Martian Child

I don’t think I realized it until last night, but I’m a huge John Cusack fan. I love how so many of his characters narrate for the audience and how natural and unobtrusive he makes it seem. It feels like a natural extension of who his characters are—people who might talk to any passing stranger about his current angst.

Martian Child is one of those movies. Although, the scene from the movie I really want to talk about has nothing to do with Cusack’s narration. I just thought I’d throw that out there because it was a bit of a revelation for me and I always like to document revelations.

Anyway, have you seen Martian Child?

Here’s the plot from the IMDB: “A science-fiction writer, recently widowed, considers whether to adopt a hyper-imaginative 6-year-old abandoned and socially rejected boy who says he's really from Mars.”

Cusack plays the science-fiction writer. His name is David Gordon. And from the moment he sees 6-year-old Dennis hiding in a box at the orphanage he is drawn to him. He’s even more intrigued by the fact that little Dennis believes he comes from Mars. Gordon sees himself in David because he grew up as a bit of an oddball himself—which he eventually turned into a lucrative career writing about the things that used to get him picked on for believing.

At first David allows Dennis to be who he wants to be—a Martian child. But Dennis’ doctor is paying close attention and begins to think that Dennis is too much for David to handle. So, David convinces Dennis to be a Martian while at home, but a human everywhere else—especially when being questioned by his doctor. As the tension mounts, David begins to wish that Dennis was more like everybody else.

Fast forward to a scene in which David is meeting with his editor to give her the first draft of a book her company commissioned him to write. He gives her a book about something else instead (a book based on his experience with Dennis) and she is furious. In her fury shy asks David, “Why can’t you just be who we want you to be?”

That’s when it hits home for David.

None of us can really be who other people want us to be. And even if we try, we are miserable.


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