The Space Between Us is a heartwarming reminder of the complexity of love, but there are elements in which the film is ultimately lacking. There is nothing shockingly new or overwhelmingly picturesque about the cinematography, and while the soundtrack inspires a feeling of adventure, that’s the best sensation the audience receives from the film.
Gardner Elliot, played by Asa Butterfield, is born on Mars after his astronaut mother left Earth unknowingly pregnant. Sixteen years later, all Gardner wants is to return to Earth to find his father and meet a girl he met online named Tulsa, played by Britt Robertson. He returns to Earth, and a breathtaking adventure to find love ensues.
The Space Between Us may be the type of feel-good romantic comedy couples will flock to on Valentine’s Day, but the film doesn’t prioritize romantic love as the end-all be-all of relationships. The primary focus is Gardner’s search for his birth father and discovering all he can about his family. Despite the film’s releasing around Valentine’s Day, there is a crucial motif showing that being single is never the same as being unloved.
The nature shots are stimulating and immersive, thanks to the beautiful color grading and artistic drone shots. However, if the best shots of the film were the drone shots, that’s not highly redeeming of the cinematography. Warmer color grading is used intentionally on Earth symbolizing the longing and passion represented on the planet. The film mostly showcases the adventurous scenery captured by Barry Peterson, the film’s director of photography.
Besides the spirit of adventure, the defining feature of the film is the female characters. So often in films, it is easy to sacrifice the femininity of a strong woman. The Space Between Us doesn’t make this mistake. From Sarah Elliot’s kindness and courage, to Kendra Wyndham’s fierce love and loyalty, to Tulsa’s strong independence, The Space Between Us is filled with complex feminine characters.
The naïve, simple sweetness of the characters and plot is what make this movie work. Although this may not be the most complex piece of cinema seen in theaters, it is sure to warm your heart by the time the movie is over.