Monday, January 21st, 2019

The Space Between Us: The best unintentional comedy of the year so far

Posted on February 13, 2017 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

By: John Rocker and Aaron Halls


The Space Between Us is a sci-fi teen romance directed by Peter Chelsom. The film follows a 16-year-old teenage boy named Gardner (Asa Butterfield) who is born and raised on the planet Mars. Having never traveled to Earth, Gardner jumps at the opportunity when it arises as it gives him the chance to meet his online friend and crush Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a teenage girl whom he connects with. Once there, Gardner is able to have many new experiences and make discoveries with the help of Tulsa, but he must also deal with the fact that his body responds negatively to Earth’s atmosphere, in addition to a team of scientists pursuing him.

What Did We Like?

A: One of the only elements of the film that worked for me was seeing the designs of NASA’s space colony on Mars, as well as semi-futuristic spaceships, which I thought looked cool. I think the designs did a good job appearing like technology and tools NASA currently uses today, but realistically depicts that technology as advanced a few years forward. Also, though the script and direction does not do them any favors throughout the film, I would say there were some moments where I could see that each of the main cast members were trying to bring emotion to a scene despite everything working against them.

J: The only thing I can give a positive for this film is the musical score composed by Andrew Lockington. It’s melodramatic, which makes sense with the story that’s trying to be told, but it’s also contradictory to the point where it had me laughing at the way the film was trying to take itself seriously. Nothing says drama like string music, am I right?

What Did We Dislike?

A: The main aspect of The Space Between Us that does not work for me is the screenplay by Allan Loeb. Every single scene contains super clunky dialogue as well as either forced romantic or comedic elements. Almost no line of dialogue from the characters, including their responses to the situations they find themselves in, feels natural. This leads to everything coming across as unintentionally funny. Every scene I found something new to laugh at. The script also unfortunately doesn’t give the actors and actresses a lot to work with or the ability to play off of each other well. On the directional side there was also really odd uses of pop music in certain scenes which felt awkward and added to the film being unintentionally hilarious.  

J: I could write a ten page paper on the things that don’t work in this film. From the ‘near-future’ technology that raises more questions than answers, to the questionable choices of the characters, to the performances that feel like overacting, this film has many problems. I believe there was a genuine story that the film was trying to tell, it just needed a lot of refining. The film didn’t know what it wanted to be. Is it science fiction? Is it young adult romance? Is it a road-trip comedy? Is it a drama? The film clumps these things together, and the tone is off. Everything happening in the film is so ridiculous, I couldn’t help but laugh. If the audience’s reaction is the opposite of what was intended, you know something is wrong with the film.

Who Do We Think This Is For?

A: I don’t think you should pay money to see this film, but if you want to see a movie that will make you laugh for all the wrong reasons, I’d definitely check it out.

J: Because of the inconsistent tones, I’m not sure who this film is exactly for. It may be one of the worst films of 2017 already, but it’s also the best unintentional comedy too. It’s definitely not worth seeing in theaters, but if you want to see how bad the film is, then maybe check it out when it comes to Netflix. You’ll be in for a treat.


A & J: Avoid It

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