As wholesome and sappy as a maple tree, The Space Between Us is an inoffensive teenage romantic drama, set in the near future, about a boy named Gardner (Asa Butterfield) who is the first person born on Mars, the result of a NASA astronaut’s careless pregnancy. After living his first 16 years with scientist/colonizers on the Red Planet, Gardner comes “home” to Earth, where he’s been chatting online with a troubled Colorado girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). NASA’s doctors (like BD Wong) and bureaucrats (like Gary Oldman) are concerned that Gardner’s Mars-conditioned organs won’t last under Earth's heavy gravity. Others (like his surrogate mom, Mars scientist Carla Gugino) are more concerned about his happiness and sociability; Gardner just wants to experience the wonders of Earth life (and find his father). Directed by Peter Chelsom (Hannah Montana: The Movie) from a humdrum screenplay by so-so writer Allan Loeb (Here Comes the Boom), the film overplays Gardner’s unfamiliarity with human interaction—he grew up surrounded by dozens of scientists, not alone in a bubble somewhere—but it sometimes captures the bittersweetness of young love and discovery.
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