The Space Between Us is about the first astronauts to colonize Mars… and it turns out the flight commander is pregnant and gives birth on Mars (and then promptly dies). Her boy grows up on Mars among scientists and meets a girl on Earth via Future Skype. She doesn’t know he’s on Mars since his birth was covered up for reasons. So when he gets a chance to return to Earth, he escapes his handlers to find his girlfriend and ultimately to find his dad.
This movie takes too long to get going – about 50 minutes before he reaches earth and an hour before he meets the girl. And, to the film’s credit, the charm and charisma between the two young leads is high once they do meet and the fish-out-of-water stuff can be fun. The leads are cute and adorable together as they fall in love – him a clueless nerd who marvels at everything on Earth, her a tough, streetwise girl in foster care.
So the movie manages to achieve a bit due to Britt Robertson (from Tomorrowland) and Asa Butterfield (from Hugo and Ender’s Game). They have chemistry (and astrophysics – BAM!). Also helps that Carla Gugino and Gary Oldman co-star to bring some grown-up charm.
All that positive stuff said, there’s some really terrible story structure going on here. I won’t go into details but there’s a good half-dozen, “wait a minute, how did he know that?” type moments. Plus they have instant communication between Earth and Mars and I’d give the movie a pass since it isn’t meant to be hard sci-fi or even very smart. Unfortunately, they show clear evidence they were trying to be scientifically accurate at other times so the inconsistency that goes without mention kind of bugged me.
Anyhow, Space Between Us is a good enough movie and if you are an angsty or overly romantic teen, it’s probably a pretty great film (hey, our Martian kid is in trouble on Earth because he has an enlarged heart… yes, his heart is just TOO BIG).