The Space Between Us
Director: Peter Chelsom
Cast: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson and others
Rating: * *
The idea is undoubtedly cute and will possibly work with the teenage or pre-teen audiences it is aimed at; anyone above the age of 15 is out of the film’s target group and likely to see it with eyes constantly rolling.
The Space Between Us, a sci-fi, inter-planetary romance directed by Peter Chelsom, has Gardner (Asa Butterfield), a 16-year-old Martian (his mother was an astronaut, one of the planet's first colonists, who died giving birth to him), fall in love with an Earthling Tulsa (Britt Robertson), whom he met via the Internet (cool, futuristic gizmos on display). Gary Oldman plays a billionaire who funded that space mission.
Raised in isolation, with his surrogate mother Kendra (Carla Gugino) and a robot called Centaur as his best friend, Gardner is not too happy. When he gets a chance to travel to Earth after going through surgery to help his body cope with the increased gravity, to meet the object of his affections, the film starts nosediving and eventually crashes in a heap.
The tall, pale, gangly teen risks death to meet Tulsa and when he does land, he is a wide-eyed misfit. (He keeps asking everyone what is their favourite thing about Earth!) The orphaned Tulsa agrees to help him find his father and the two go off on a trip with NASA in pursuit, because they had kept his existence a secret. Not to mention that Earth’s gravity is detrimental for Gardner’s well being.
The film tosses between sweet and silly and falls on the side of the latter. The viewer would be more entertained counting the absurdities of the script that by the movie itself, that leaves all the heavy-lifting to the talented, young lead pair, who go about the proceedings with utmost seriousness--maybe they were falling down laughing while shooting.