Director: Peter Chelsom
Writers: Allan Loeb
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino
Genre: Sci-Fi Drama Romance
I’m not a romantic. I don’t like chick-flicks or most romance films. However, this one about a boy from Mars meeting a cynical girl from earth really piqued my interest. I really like Asa Butterfield as an actor, so I was very excited to see him in another leading role. But did this tale of a boy born on Mars steal my heart?
Violence/Scary Images: Because of the genre, there isn’t too much violence to speak of. The only things I can think of that would be troubling to view is when Gardner’s mother seizes before she dies, when Gardner’s nose bleeds profusely, and when he believes he’s going to die and falls into the ocean to let himself pass away there.
Language/Crude Humor: I actually don’t remember any swearing at all.
Spiritual Content: None of note.
Sexual Content: It’s implied that Gardner and Tulsa have sex, but all you see is them naked under the covers of a sleeping bag. There are several sequences of kissing between them.
Drug/Alcohol Reference: Tulsa’s foster father is a drinker and she finds him passed out from alcohol.
Other Negative Content: Tulsa steals several vehicles and uses someone’s iPad without permission in a restaurant.
Positive Content: Gardner’s an inspiring person. He looks at the world with new eyes and says things so honestly. It’s one of the reasons why Tulsa falls in love with him. Tulsa is a foster kid hardened by the world since a young age. She is used to everyone lying to her. Gardner comes into her life with this crazy story that he’s from Mars and at first she thinks he’s like everyone else, but over time she discovers that he’s just so endearingly uninhibited.
When he thinks she’s beautiful, he doesn’t hesitate, he says it. When he thinks something is wonderful, he just says it. When he feels joy, he isn’t unashamed to show it. At one point Tulsa goes onto a long ramble about how the average person tends to hold in all of their emotions and that’s normal, but then begins to wonder, what’s wrong with expressing ourselves positively? We as humans tend to want to guard our emotions because we’re afraid to be hurt or be thought crazy, but what would happen if we just expressed every happiness we felt? What if we let down the guards and shields for a bit?
Gardner’s mother was one of six pioneers sent to live on Mars. However, sometime recently before leaving on the mission, she became pregnant then has the baby on Mars and dies in childbirth. The company who funded the Mars project headed by Nathaniel decide to keep the child’s existence a secret so as not spur public distaste of the project. They also know that because of baby’s gestation and birth, his physiology is not compatible to live on our planet. Thus Gardner grows up for the first sixteen years of his life in the care of scientists and never setting foot on earth. Finally, he manages to break into his mother’s old locker and find clues about his birth father. Now he’s determined to find a way to earth and seek out his only family.
The Space Between Us was not exactly what I expected from the trailers. Yes, the film implies romance, but it’s more than that. I wouldn’t say this is a typical romance movie. Yes, love is a focal point, but it’s more about a boy born on Mars discovering what it’s like to live on earth. Gardner appreciates the world for all of the things we take for granted: the sea, the sky, the sun, balloons, caterpillars, hamburgers, even telling someone you care about that you love them.
Like Tulsa, he made me really analyze the things around me and come to appreciate God’s creation, not that He didn’t create Mars as well, but he put something special into Earth. We see Earth portrayed as something special throughout science-fiction. There’s just a spark about it that makes it a magical planet. The film had many instances of beautiful scenery and a lovely score throughout to enhance this enchantment of earth.
The story follows Gardner as he discovers more about earth and touches those around him. It even takes a very unexpected twist near the end that I did not see coming. Asa Butterfield really appeared to put his heart and soul into this role and his chemistry with Britt Robertson (Tulsa) was very convincing. The boy from Mars and the hardened foster kid were two great characters with many great moments. Gary Oldman did well in his role as Nathaniel, the founder of the colony on Mars known as East Texas and the primary antagonist of the film. He had good motivation and posed as a good antagonist, though not a villainous one. Lastly, I enjoyed Carla Gugino as Kendra, the astronaut who raised Gardner. There were many touching moments with her.
Overall, I enjoyed the Space Between Us. It wasn’t an amazing movie, but it had a lot of good sequences that really made me think. Is this a new favorite of mine? Maybe not. Was it worth seeing? Yes.
+ Good casting + Good themes + Beautiful Score
- It didn't bring anything very new to the screen
The Bottom Line
The Space Between Us was a good feel good film that made one think deeper about Earth.