Recently, I got the chance to watch The Space Between Us at an early screening. Beforehand, I’d never heard of the movie but it does star Britt Robertson, who’s been dominating the YA space for quite some time now. The Space Between Us tells the futuristic story of 16-year-old Gardner Elliot, a boy born on Mars who yearns to see Earth.
The story starts with his mother, Sarah Eliot, an astronaut who makes the trip to Mars to live there for a few months. However, two months later, she discovers she’s pregnant. Then, everyone decides it’s best for her to deliver her baby on Mars. But when he’s born, it ultimately kills Sarah not long after the delivery, leaving a small boy and a public NASA scandal waiting to happen.
But Shepard, the scientist in charge of the Mars project, decides it’s best to keep Gardner in the dark from the public. Then, 16 years pass, and he’s grown up and has been living quite successfully on Mars alongside scientists. So, he’s actually sort of a boy genius. As fantastical as it seems to live on Mars, Gardner longs to travel to Earth to learn more about his family, find his father, and meet the girl he’s been chatting with online.
Gardner Leaves Mars
Eventually, he makes it to Earth with the help of his unofficial adoptive mother, Kendra, and other scientists and doctors. But it turns out he needs more tests done to ensure he’ll actually survive on Earth. But due to his desperation and impatience, Gardner just sees the extensive testing as a way for them to stop him so he escapes. In reality, the scientists discover he needs a heart transplant because, get this, his heart’s too big. But because he’s just a stubborn teenager, he’s clueless about the severity of his health and aimlessly hitchhikes and busses his way to Tulsa, the girl he met online. He somehow got to Tulsa really fast, which is just unrealistic, but because it’s a movie with time constrictions, I’ll forgive them and just deem it as “movie magic”.
As we can all (probably) assume, Gardner and Tulsa fall in love. Gardner gets his first kiss and first everything (romantically speaking) with Tulsa and it’s a very sweet first love storyline in the film. The other story consists of Gardner’s persevering search for his father, which he gets from an old file on his mother. I won’t spoil the ending for anyone that wants to watch, but let’s just say there’s an interesting twist at the end. Overall, the story’s a sweet innocent story about a curious boy looking for his father and falling in love along the way. And all the futuristic technology in the movie’s also pretty great too. All in all, I’d recommend this movie to anyone who loves a coming-of-age, space, YA love story.