Film / My Favorite Martian
And to think, eight years ago, Christopher Lloyd was in Daniels' shoes...
My Favorite Martian is a 1999 science fiction comedy film starring Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Daniels. It is based on the 1960s sitcom of the same name, though expands on the original show. The film is about a Martian named Marvin (Christopher Lloyd) who along with Zoot, his talking suit (Wayne Knight) get stranded on Earth. Being taken in by reporter Tim O'Hara (Jeff Daniels), they must try to find a way to get Marvin home while avoiding the government operation SETI from capturing him and doing what the government does best.

The film was released in theaters along with an animated short staring Pluto called Pluto Gets the Paper: Spaceship. The film was also a Box Office Bomb, only making around half of its budget, and was critically panned by most critics.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The movie introduced new characters (Lizzie, Brace, and Zoot) as well as several new pieces of Martian technology. The most notable would be "nerplex," or Martian gum that changes the appearance of whoever is chewing it (which is how Martin can appear as a human).
  • Bait and Switch: Zoot at one point seems smitten with a human woman in a clothing store, but it's quickly shown his attraction is to the dress she was holding.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Coleye ends up being permanently transformed into an alien near the end of the film, when he accidentally swallows a piece of Nerplex.
  • Big Eater: Tim takes Martin to an ice cream shop. Although initially wary of Earth food, Martin proceeds to consume all of the ice cream.
  • Brainless Beauty: Brace is sufficently dim she has to be drip fed her on-air lines through an earpiece.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Veenox 7 gum, which turns whoever chews it into a large, powerful, man-eating monster.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Tim complains how Martin was asleep for about 30 seconds, Martin marvels about it, claiming he must've been tired to sleep for that long.
  • Cultural Posturing: Martin provides several examples of Martians being more advanced than humans ("Your astronauts pee in their space suits. Case closed!"). Later subverted when it turns out that the alternator from Tim's car will double as an "electron accelerator" to fix his spaceship.
  • Dancing Pants: Martin has a full dancing suit named Zoot.
  • Disney Death: Martin gets one at the end when he is dissected by the Big Bad, and Zoot gets one after getting shot twice by one of the security guards.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Lizzie reacts rather violently towards Tim when she finds Brace in his house.
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted; the dumb one in this case is brunette Brace Channing, and blonde Lizzie is the smart one.
  • Fan Disservice: The Dirty Old Man in the video making his pecs dance to "Hot Hot Hot".
  • Feigning Intelligence: Brace Channing.
    Martin (after turning himself into Brace): "Boy, her head was dark and empty."
  • Green Aesop: Martin's parting words to Tim include reminding him to take care of the Earth's oceans. Although this may be justified by the fact that Martin was completely blown away that Earth even has them, given that "on Mars, all the water has to be squeezed from rocks!"
  • Hard Head: The guard Tim hits over the head with a fire extinguisher seems to be entirely unaffected.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Zoot gets worried about the repairs and tries to calm down with a glass of laundry detergent. When they discover the I.S.S., Zoot chugs the entire container.
  • Jerk Ass: Brace and her father (Tim's boss).
  • Large Ham: Martin and Zoot.
  • Losing Your Head: Martin literally falls apart when he goes into "Martian depression."
  • Magic Pants: Lizzie chews the Veenox 7 gum and transforms into a giant tentacled alien, but her dress and shoes seem to fit her new form perfectly, despite her being several sizes larger. When she changes back into a human, her outfit only has minor damages.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The opening of the movie shows the failure of the Mars rover just before it would have shown footage of the Martian society.
  • Monster Roommate: Martin himself to Tim. At the end of the film, Martin decides to move in with Tim for good.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Martin is forced to take on Tim's form early in the movie and kisses his friend Lizzie. Martin later helps Tim realize that he and Lizzie are more than Just Friends.
  • Mythology Gag: Ray Walston (the original Uncle Martin) is an undercover martian. And he even says the shapeshifting gum lost its flavor in 1966 (the year the show got cancelled).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Tim claims he likes Lizzie's transformed man-eating alien form.
  • Oh Blotz:
    • When Martin discovers the I.S.S. on the spaceship.
    • When Martin is disguised as Brace and is forced to spit out the gum that makes him resemble a human.
  • One-Winged Angel: A heroic example, is Lizzie when Tim is being beaten up by two guards. In an attempt to save him, she chews the martian gum and transforms herself into a giant, green, reptile/squid alien.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Apparently, "blotz" is a direct Martian translation for "shit"... as in "Does a wild bear blotz in the woods?"
  • Pec Flex: Hilariously done by a senior citizen.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: Tim's alternator is exactly the right size and shape (and function) to double as the piece Martin needs to repair his ship.
  • Race Against the Clock: It's revealed at the half way point that Martin's rental vehicle has a powerful explosive inside that activated when he crash landed. If he doesn't get the spaceship flying again within a certain amount of time, it will detonate.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Tim tries to tell his neighbour that his visitor is really a Martian, but she mishears him saying "Martin". Martin quickly capitalizes on the mistake, and interrupts Tim's uhs with uncle. Thus, Uncle Martin.
  • Shout-Out: Many references to the original 1960s television series.
    • The design for the alien monster Lizzie turns into near the end of the film is actually based on the "monster from The Id" from Forbidden Planet.
  • Skyward Scream: Dr. Coleye does this during his Evil Laugh.
  • Spoiled Brat: Brace Channing.
  • Stealth Pun: The Martian researcher's full name is Elliot Coleye (E. Coleye).
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Not only that was top secret, but it never happened!"
  • That Poor Cat: Heard towards the end when Martin lands his spaceship at Tim's driveway.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Zoot remarks, while hiding under Tim's couch, "Hey, look! Jimmy Hoffa!"
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body:
    • Not directly stated, but there are implications that Nerplex does simply more than alters one's physical appearance into another being. The most notable incident is when Lizzie chews the Veenox 7 gum, and seems to have no problem with killing one guard, and eating another while as that alien. This even seemed to carry over when the person reverts back to being human. Though this may only be trait specific to Veenox 7, which would explain why Martin was so heedful when mentioning it.
    • Marvin's quote after assuming Brace's form seems to indicate he had some sort of mind meld like connection with the real Brace's brain (or lack of brain in her case.)
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Zoot can alter his form to match the biology of whatever's wearing him, increasing or decreasing the number of sleeves he has or expanding to accommodate breasts.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lizzie during her time as an alien monster after chewing on Veenox 7 gum. During her time as the monster, she apparently had no problem swallowing a SETI Mook whole, even though he was defenseless and running for his life. The fact that the incident is never brought up again afterwards is jarring.