‘The Space Between Us’ explores abandonment, humanity through developed teen romance

February 14, 2017

Mara Green

mgreen7@uccs.edu

Rating: 4 out of 5

     Long distance relationships can be tough, but instead of your loved one living in another city, imagine having them living on another planet.

     “The Space Between Us” explores this idea of long-distance love, among abandonment issues and what it truly means to be a human, through the life of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) and Tulsa (Britt Robertson).

     While I found myself drawn to the idea of another space movie, I was undoubtedly attached to the characters through the screenplay. Each character had a backstory that would end up meaning something to the plot.

     No one was out of place in this film, and each action seemed thought-out and organized.

     Six astronauts are sent on a mission, “East Texas,” to colonize Mars. One of the astronauts is pregnant with Gardner and gives birth to him on the red planet, unsure of who his father is.

     Gardner, a Mars native, is an intelligent, orphaned 16-year-old. Fortunately, he’s cared for by the scientists that move between Earth and the red planet. But although though he contemplates what life is like on Earth, Gardner is kept a secret from the planet’s habitants by his guardians.

     In an effort to save himself from boredom and a lack of human interaction, Gardner befriends Tulsa, a girl who lives on Earth.

     The two, who have common background with a lack of parental figures, are attached to each other, but with no way to travel to Earth safely, Gardner is left to his own devices.

     The movie was funny, cute and it tugged on the viewer’s heartstrings. The visual effects on Mars, the colony and the space travel were all fun to watch as well. I’m typically critical of space-oriented flicks, but I could overlook the cheesier aspects since this film was based around the romance.

     While the romance between Gardner and Tulsa was the main focus of the film, it felt rushed; it was more of an afterthought due to the time constraints of Gardner’s circumstances. His medical issues were more important that the romantic development between characters.

     While the movie doesn’t obsess over teen romance, it does conceptualize Tulsa and Gardner’s feelings of abandonment.

     I wouldn’t give the movie five stars because of the urgency throughout. This was brought up by reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes, along with the repetitive road-trip tropes played out in a memoir of scenes.

     The film gives a new point of view on what humans are willing to do for love, and what obstacles we are willing to overcome for the sake of being human.

     The film doesn’t only delve into the far-reaching depths of human affection, but it brings serious thought to ethics about learning new aspects to life.

     The twist on the extreme, long-distance relationship made me rethink how humans really fall in love through technology, and how it has become so much easier for relationships to expand past our own hometowns.

     I found the idea that abandonment can have a negative impact on the human psyche, whether you’re from Mars or Earth. We’re so open to those who feel the same way, and to think that they could leave us is as detrimental as having been left the first time.

     “The Space Between Us” is definitely a supernova of romance, space ethics and a look into the how and why of interplanetary space travel.