The Space Between Us Review
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Teen romances often feature two completely different characters: one tough and one timid, or one human and one vampire. And while the young characters in The Space Between Us may both be lonely outsiders, one of them is a troubled teenage girl and the other is a boy from another planet.

The Space Between Us tells the story of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), a teenage boy who’s spent his entire life on Mars. In response to his astronaut mother’s unexpected pregnancy and her death during childbirth, the company funding the space station chose to keep his existence a secret. Years later, after he begins looking for answers about his origins, he finally gets the chance to travel to Earth. And after waiting in quarantine, enduring one test after another, he breaks away and sets out on a cross-country adventure with a tough young girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson) on a quest to find his father.

In the last decade or so, we’ve gone through a number of teen movie trends, from edgy paranormal romances to post-apocalyptic adventures. In the last few years, romantic teen tear-jerkers have grown in popularity. And The Space Between Us gives the recent trend an intriguing sci-fi twist. More than just the typical lonely teens fighting challenges and differences to be together, these characters aren’t just from different circles—they’re from different planets.

Robertson’s Tulsa is tough and cynical yet vulnerable. She’s been moved from one bad foster home after another, so she’s got plenty of trust issues—yet, with this mysterious boy who pops up on her computer, she finally finds a friend. And who wouldn’t want to be friends with this kid? Butterfield’s Gardner is an adorable character. Raised by scientists on a faraway planet, he’s awkward yet charming and lovably naive—but without taking any of it too far. You simply can’t help but love him.

Their story has plenty of bumps and flaws along the way. It’s certainly manipulative and sappy at times, too. But it’s just as sweet and charming as the characters. Audiences will fall in love with these troubled young people—and despite the foreboding darkness that tends to loom over this kind of drama, hope for a happy ending as they race across the country.

With its lovable young characters and its sci-fi twist, The Space Between Us is cute and sometimes clever, too. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a great pick for Valentine’s date nights for high school sweethearts.

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