Men are from Mars, confirmed?
A lot of movies try to fit neatly into one genre…sci-fi, romance, horror, etc. However, if movies are to be an exaggerated version of life, then it would make sense that some movies have a blend of different components instead of being one note. So it’s kind of refreshing that The Space Between Us was released. As if its title was signifying the bridge between todays date and hopefully a blockbuster filled summer, it’s actually a mash-up of the strangest order. It is a weird combination of science fiction and young adult romance. The science fiction part is what interested me as I love anything science fiction, but it’s the romance part that had me questioning if this movie would be any good. Strangely enough, The Space Between Us helps fill the void of these remaining winter months quite nicely.
The Space Between Us starts off with a crew of pioneers flying off to Mars to start a settlement, East Texas. They will be living there for 4 years while they get the settlement prepped for even more settlers to come live on Mars. As with any sort of space mission, real or fiction, there is always the possibility of some sort of complication. The complication here is that the lead astronaut is pregnant while en route to Mars. This discovery leads to a moral dilemma for the NASA lead crew back on Earth. Due to the time it takes to travel and the fact that the crew is in space, the health of this baby is in jeopardy due to not being born within the confines of Earth’s gravity. Do they risk bringing the baby back to Earth, most likely jeopardizing its life or leave it to grow up amongst scientists on Mars, isolated from other children? They come to the difficult decision to let the child grow up on Mars on the settlement hoping they made the right choice. Years pass and the child is now a teenager. His name is Gardner, played by Asa Butterfield. He naturally has teenage wants and desires. Gardner needs companionship. Fortunately due to technology he is able to Skype with a very pretty girl on Earth named Tulsa, played by Britt Robinson. I would say he’s lucky in this regard, because the movie never explains how they come to start chatting with each other online but here they are established as conversing all the time. Good for him. He wants to go to Earth now as any red blooded teen male would to meet this girl. Also he wants to find his Dad, so there’s that too. After some intense debate, the NASA crew back home decides that Gardner has grown up enough and that he might be able to take the risk of returning to Earth. Which he does eventually…but not without needing to pass tests once on Earth to determine if he is fit enough to stay. Gardner decides he’s tired of being a guinnea pig and runs off to find Tulsa. Once he finds Tulsa, awkwardly enough she takes a liking to him. They run off across the country to find his Dad. Little do they know that they are in a race against time as Gardner is dying from an enlarged heart due to Earth’s gravity.
This movie tries to be a lot of things at once but strangely it feels endearing. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of cheesy sentimental moments in this movie…but it was a good type of cheese if you understand what I mean. Gardner and Tulsa are able to get across the country a little too conveniently but you have to sort of suspend disbelief a little when watching these types of movies. The two leads come off as a little awkward but the supporting actors Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino balance this out with their veteran presence. For a movie about a boy from Mars, this movie does something very cool…it plays up the awe inspiring beauty of Earth. We are shown just beautiful landscapes that really make you think that we shouldn’t take our planet for granted. The joy that Gardner experiences when he sees the ocean will warm even the most frigid soul. I felt good watching this movie. The soundtrack to this film hits all the right notes with great song choices at the perfect times which really helped. This is a movie that is very much appreciated since it is one that you should see with the family. It’s got something for everyone.