“What’s your favorite thing about Earth?”
Let me start by saying, I’m a hopeless romantic so this could be the reasoning behind my positive review on this movie. I honestly don’t understand why the critics rated this movie so low. I thought it was cute, adorable, sweet, and a whole lot of fun. I always say I only have time for one to two spaces movies a year, and I’m glad I chose this one.
Opening this movie we meet Gary Oldman’s character Nathaniel Shepherd. He is giving a speech at a convention about NASA’s mission to get to Mars.He introduces the group of astronauts going to space, led by Sarah Elliot. She answers questions from the crowd and tells everyone how excited and honored she is to be a part of such an important mission. Flash forward two months and they are in space. Sarah is very sick, and we learn she’s pregnant. Shepherd and the rest of the ground team at NASA try to figure out how to handle the situation, and are torn between bringing her back and risking the mission, or leaving her to deliver on Mars. They decide on the latter. When Sarah delivers the baby there are consequences and she dies.
We flash forward sixteen years and meet her son, Gardner, played by Asa Butterfield, who has lived on Mars his entire life. He has a close relationship with one of the astronauts on Mars named Kendra, Carla Gugino, who is like a mother to him. He also has an online relationship with a girl named Tulsa, Britt Robertson, and he desperately wants to meet her. However, in order to keep the mission safe and keep NASA from getting a bad reputation, they never told anyone about Gardner or how Sarah died, therefore, Gardner must stay on Mars. Kendra works out a plan to get Gardner to Earth to visit, and when he gets there, we go an adventure of a lifetime.
While this movie isn’t going to win an Oscar or any big awards, it definitely deserves some recognition in my opinion. Asa Butterfield gives a heart-warming performance as the sixteen year old boy who lives on Mars and doesn’t know “how to be a human”. He’s awkward, says what he thinks, and has more love in his heart than most people. I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone who would have been better for this role than him. His relationship with Tulsa was beautiful, and Britt Robertson delivers as the misunderstood foster kid. Together, they help each other be the best version of themselves. Watching their relationship bloom during his days on Earth is sweet and it will make you say “aww”. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat smiling at the two of them.
Like I said, I know I am a hopeless romantic and that could be one of the reasons I found this film endearing, but I can’t help but love it. I would go watch it again, and I would take my friends. It isn’t as cliche as a Nicholas Sparks film, and it isn’t too old for the age of the characters. It fits perfectly. Gary Oldman delivers a solid performance as well, and we even get to see BD Wong for a small role.
I can’t say I would tell everyone to go pay to see it, because I would hate to disappoint, but I can say that I loved it. It won’t make any top 10 lists for me, but it was cute fun and I think it is something most everyone could enjoy.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Trailer: The Space Between Us