The Space Between Us is the new movie from director Peter Chelsom and starring Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson and Gary Oldman based on a screenplay by writer/producer Allan Loeb. Now Loeb is the same guy who wrote Collateral Beauty as well as Miley Cyrus’s straight-to-DVD So Undercover, Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, all derivative works that don’t work and unfortunately, The Space Between Us is more of the same.
We are still in the early 2017 phase of movie releases which means we are getting some not-so-great fodder to chew on until the spring/summer season when things get more interesting. In other words, Hollywood uses this time to fill the space between and this aptly named filler is really just not worth seeing.
What we have in The Space Between Us is a story that seems to get re-hashed every ten years or so as a new generation of moviegoing teens apparently need to be reminded that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that life is something special to those of us who are living it and that you can avert almost any medical tragedy if you just believe in love. In the 70s we had The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, in the 80s it was Endless Love, in the 90s it was Mad Love and Untamed Heart and more recently it was A Walk to Remember and The Fault in Our Stars. With this one, we get treated to the story of Gardner Elliot, a boy who was born and raised on Mars through a set of circumstances so ridiculous I could almost hear my brain creaking trying to deal with the strain of the stupidity. Because of the low gravity on Mars, his organs have not developed adequately for him to come back and live on Earth. Yet because of his lonely existence being stuck there, surrounded by scientists and technicians who come and go from Mars all the time, he reaches out through interstellar Skype to form a friendship with a rebellious school girl who seems smart enough to live fairly independently but never figures out she’s literally talking to a kid on Mars. Of course he ends up figuring out how to get to Earth to meet her and shenanigans ensue.
Personally I hate these things because they are usually cheese-fests that create horribly unrealistic ideas in the minds of teens about what a terminal or mental illness actually looks and feels like, and what it’s really like to be around someone experiencing it. And even worse, those who are involved in making this drivel usually think they are doing some kind of community service to the world in “talking honestly” about their struggles when they are doing nothing of the sort. Now The Space Between Us takes it to an even lower level because the sci-fi setup and Gardner’s physical problem is really nothing more than a plot device to tell an otherwise mediocre boy-falls-in-love-with-jaded-girl story that itself has been made twenty thousand times and definitely didn’t need to be made again. With Gary Oldman along for the paycheck as an Elon Musk kind of billionaire surrogate father and Carla Gugino playing the scientist-with-a-heart-of-gold surrogate mother, it’s all very paint-by-numbers schlock. I’m giving this movie a rating of Total Suckage.
There’s really no reason for anyone to go see this movie. Teens who have little cinematic experience are going to watch this and probably throw up in their mouths a little while the rest of us just try to forget it ever happened. This is not career destroying material for anyone involved, it’s just the sort of thing that Hollywood churns out in their more “we’ll do anything for money” moments and unfortunately everyone gets their paychecks, we suffer a little and the movie fades into obscurity on IMDB.
Over the next couple of weeks you are going to see reviews coming up here on all the Oscar nominated movies leading up to my own Oscar insights and predictions before the big show. So stay tuned, that’s all coming starting in the next couple days. Thanks for coming around and if you haven’t subscribed to my channel, now’s a great time to start. I’ll see you next time.