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The Space Between Us: Movie Review

Long distance relationships are never easy but when the people in them are separated by planets instead of cities, they are all-the-more difficult.  A big difference is that at least if you are on the same planet a flight can have you in each other’s arms within hours.  When one person is on Earth and the other is on Mars, the trip can take months.   That is just one of the frustrating obstacles the main character’s face in “The Space Between Us”, a sweet, yet forgettable teen romance.

Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) isn’t like most teenage boys.  That comes as no surprise considering he is the first and only human being to be born on Mars. You can blame his astronaut mother for getting knocked up right before her mission to colonize the red planet.  Sadly, Gardner’s month died giving birth to him and it was decided by NASA’s Nathanial Shepherd (Gary Oldman) to keep the whole situation away from public knowledge.

Gardner has always wanted to go to Earth but his body cannot handle the atmosphere.  Although he is the only child on Mars, he has been raised by scientists and Kendra (Carla Gugino) is the closest thing he has had to a mother figure.  As close as they are, even she is unaware that Gardner has been talking online to Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a high school girl who thinks he lives in New York.

If you have seen the trailers, you know that Gardner makes his way to Earth and finds Tulsa and the two fall in love.  Of course, she doesn’t believe him when he tells her he is from Mars. The fact that he has never seen a horse before should have tipped her off that he hasn’t seem much.  Gardner’s main reason for coming to Earth however is to find his father who he has only seen in his mother’s video clips and Tulsa agrees to take him. Unfortunately, Gardner’s heart is enlarged and Earth is taking a toll on his body.

“The Space Between Us” works mostly because of its’ casting.  Robertson who we have recently seen in “A Dog’s Purpose” and “Mr. Church” has a sweet toughness to her.  Butterfield who is best known for his work in “Hugo” is quite charming in a dorky sort of way here. The pair are nice to watch together.  You can’t go wrong with supporting players like Oldman and the always enjoyable BD Wong.  Ultimately, this is a teen-romance movie with some sci-fi built-in and geared towards that audience. I can’t imagine people coming out of “The Space Between Us” hating it, but I can imagine them saying, that was nice, what’s for dinner?

By: Marc Ferman