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Movie Review

Based on the 1960's television show, My Favorite Martian is set in Santa Barbara, Calif. Tim O'Hara, a struggling television reporter stumbles across a UFO crash scene. After stopping to investigate, O'Hara drives away, unaware that an extraterrestrial "survivor" from Mars is hitching a ride in the trunk of his car. The Martian (who has the ability to assume human form) and his talking suit, "Zoot" reveal themselves to O'Hara back at his apartment. While O'Hara secretly identifies this intrusion as potential Pulitzer Prize material, the Martian insists on remaining undercover (as O'Hara's Uncle Martin). His plans involve repairing his spaceship and returning to Mars.

Positive Elements: O'Hara's ambitious spirit and generally amiable personality are worth taking note of. In spite of his dire professional circumstances, he ultimately puts aside personal gain and notoriety in order to help the Martian return to his home. In the end, the young reporter also recognizes the value of committed and relational love that stems from deep friendship rather than sexual fantasy.

Sexual Content: Sexual humor invades this film on several occasions. Via special effects, breasts momentarily appear on Zoot the suit. When Zoot screams in a clothing store's dressing room, his antics are explained away to a concerned sales clerk as "zipper trouble." Women in this "kid's" film are often dressed immodestly and provocatively. The movie closes with Zoot gawking at a Victoria's Secret catalog.

Violent Content: Cartoon type violence occurs throughout. The Martian "plays" with O'Hara by pinning him against the ceiling and letting him fall to the ground. Fists fly during O'Hara and Lizzy's attempt to free the Martian. At one point, Lizzy morphs into a Martian. A scene which is intense enough to scare some young children.

Crude or Profane Language: One use of h---. God's name is used inappropriately on several occasions. In an attempt to humiliate humans, the Martian exclaims, "Your astronauts pee in their spacesuits."

Other Negative Elements: Crude "bathroom humor" surfaces more than once. Zoot "flashes" his rear-end in one scene. O'Hara gets kicked in the groin right after exclaiming, "I must be going nuts." In one obviously unnecessary and gross scene O'Hara and the Martian magically shrink themselves and their escape car in attempt to avoid trouble. Their route through the underground drainage system ultimately lands them in a toilet bowl on which an obese man is perched.

Summary: My Favorite Martian certainly had potential as a kid-friendly film. Clever special effects. Fun, light-hearted dialogue. Reminiscent glimpses of the original series. Still, Disney chose to mar this story with unnecessarily crude and sexually charged humor-rendering the movie unmanageable for most families.

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Christopher Lloyd as the Martian; Jeff Daniels as Tim O'Hara; Elizabeth Hurley as Brace Channing; Daryl Hannah as Lizzie


Donald Petrie ( )


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Cari Stone

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