As Valentine’s Day draws ever closer, The Space Between Us proves to be a wonderful alternative for audiences unable or unwilling to see ‘Fifty Shades’. A great piece of counter-programming, it is a lovely little gem of a film that will play brilliantly to its teen demographic. It’s sweet, it’s charming, it’s nice to look at and, perhaps most importantly, it completely took me by surprise as to how much I found myself enjoying it.
The concept of the film itself could be said to be slight Nicholas Sparks-ish, with an added sci-fi element. Asa Butterfield, a young actor who I have become a real big fan of whilst watching him grow up over the years, plays Gardner Elliot, the first human to have ever been born on Mars. It’s because of this fact that the sixteen-year-old is unable to ever visit earth, on the basis that his body couldn’t survive within our gravity. This particularly sucks for Gardner, as he has been communicating with an earth girl named Tulsa via some kind of space age Skype and longs to meet her.
When NASA come up with reinforced implants that could be the answer to brining the boy back to earth, Elliot finally gets the opportunity to visit Tulsa and the pair go on the run to try to find the boy’s estranged father. And I’m sure you can probably fill in the rest of the gaps from there.
The Space Between Us may be incredibly predictable – if you don’t see the film’s final reveal coming from about twenty-minutes in, you must suffer from cinematic blindness – and even though I’m no scientist, I’m pretty sure that the science behind the film is as flimsy as Gary Oldman’s hair. These are, however, issues which can be overlooked quite easily due to the sheer good-nature of the film.
It may be dumb and it may not do anything that makes it out of the world (please forgive the pun) but it did put a smile on my face consistently throughout. A large part of this is due to the performances from Butterfield and the fantastic Britt Robertson, who make for a believeable and very watchable coupling. And then you have Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino, the two adults in Gardner’s life tasked with finding him before he dies, who each bring a surprising amount of heart and weight to the story.
What also helps is that Peter Chelsom, a director who has dabbled with other romantic stories in the past, perhaps most famously with Serendipity, does a great job in making it visually engaging as well. Again, there’s nothing on display that’s ground-breaking, but the production is still more solid than most.
All things considered, I really liked The Space Between Us. I thought it was fun, harmless and a delightful way to spend two-hours. With a jukebox soundtrack of modern pop songs, investable leads, colourful visuals and a romantic story that’s different to most, I think younger viewers will emjoy it even more. I know for a fact that the twelve-year-old me would have loved it.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com