Teenagers are the same no matter where they are born. I give The Space between Us an A-.
Gardner Elliot is a young man who was born on the Mars station of East Texas. His mother was the lead astronaut on the mission when she learned of her pregnancy. Sadly, she passes giving birth, leaving Gardner alone with only the remaining crewmembers for family.
The Space between Us is a movie about belonging and understanding who we are, which is why a teenage hero is perfect. It’s a time when most kids are separating from their parents and learning what makes them unique. Gardner is no different, even though he’s never set foot on Earth.
His relationship with a young girl on Earth (Tulsa) shows him about love as he risks everything in an effort to find his father. Twists and surprises abound on the adventure across the Western US. Of course, Gardner and Tulsa fall in love and celebrate their passion under the stars. This felt contrived and wasn’t really necessary for the storyline. It’s not as if every teenager must have sex when they find someone they are attracted to, let alone one who hasn’t even kissed one person and a girl who had been shuffled around through Child Protective Services system.
Asa Butterfield is Gardner and does a wonderful job as not just an awkward teen but a brilliant one who uses the magnet in his pacemaker to deactivate locks yet, struggles with heavy gravity and the wonder of Earth. His gait and movements seem silly but give viewers a look at how life differs on the two planets. We’ve seen a lot of Asa lately in Mrs. Peregrine’s and Ender’s Game and I anticipate we will see more.
With a large supporting cast of mainly B-list actors, the faces are familiar but lack the big names to draw audiences. It reminds me of the early 80’s movies before Molly Ringwald became a recognizable face. The Space between Us pulls at your heartstrings, so you may need a Kleenex but the message is overall very positive and has you leaving the theater with a smile on your face.
This movie will appeal to fans of a good story with interesting characters, some humor and a happy ending.
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