The Space Between Us
Some romances are written in the stars. Others just start there.
The Space Between Us follows the journey of Gardner, the first person born on Mars. The child of an astronaut who’s unknowingly pregnant when she goes into space, Gardner’s existence is kept hidden from the world as he grows up on the first colony on Mars. Raised by scientists, his only friend is Tulsa, a girl back on Earth he knows only through video chat. Things change, however, when Gardner decides it’s time he visited Earth and meets the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, Having grown up on Mars, Gardner’s body is ill equipped to handle life, particularly gravity, on Earth.
Any teenager can feel out place in the world, and Gardner’s journey is a poignant reminder of how desperately we all want to connect with others, especially as we enter adulthood. His romance with Tulsa is endearingly awkward as he attempts to “court” her with little understanding of how things are done on Earth.
The film is wonderfully shot, as it’s told from Gardner’s perspective and shows just how incredible he finds Earth. Everything from rain to horses to hot air balloons is all met with equal fascination that invites the audience to see Earth through new eyes.
Asa Butterfield, who plays Gardner, is in ideal choice for the role. His open face and intense eyes give us a clear window into Gardner’s mind, while he carries his gangly limbs in way that reminds us Earth isn’t Gardner’s home planet.
The sci-fi elements are also impressive. The plot travel from space shuttles to the Mars colony and back to Earth. All of it feels real. We may not be on Mars yet, but the movie does a good job of constructing what it will probably look like when we are.
If the movie has a weak point, it comes in the third act. It devolves into a more traditional twist-ending and action-based climax that the movie really didn’t need. After touching earlier moments, it’s a rather unnecessarily big ending. Not bad, just an odd fit for what had been a character driven story.
Ending aside, if you’re sick of the usual rom-com beats, this is a love story that takes romance to a whole new world.