Last night, we went to see a sneak peek of a new science fiction movie, “The Space Between Us”. It is scheduled to open next month. Anne, Joanie and I had scored tickets to this advanced screening last week through Science on Tap. “The Space Between Us” is an endearing if somewhat silly teen romantic comedy, think “The Martian” lite. The story begins as a mission to colonize Mars launches. Enroute it is discovered that the female mission commander is pregnant. Arriving on Mars, she successfully delivers a perfectly healthy baby boy and then promptly dies from mysterious childbirth complications, which a team of doctors are helpless to prevent. How convenient. In a cover-up, the child’s existence is kept secret. Flash forward sixteen years and Gardner is now a gangly teenager. He has only met fourteen people in his life, all NASA scientists working on Mars, but he has managed to make chatroom contact with one person on Earth, a girl his age named Tulsa. Any guess on where this story is going? In an uncharacteristic show of empathy, the powers that be, played by Gary Oldman, decide to bring Gardner back to Earth, but still secretly. Gardner soon escapes, meets Tulsa and together they set off in search of Gardner’s father or boy from Mars meets Earth girl and then breaks his heart.
Because these sneak previews are shown weeks before release the movie producers are really anxious about piracy. The audience is always admonished never to use any personal electronic devices during the screening, for fear that someone might record the film. In the past at these events, we’ve been threaten with surveillance from night vision goggles. At last night’s showing, they must have forgotten to bring their goggles, because they left the house lights on for the first part of the movie. Sometimes dimming them and then sometimes turning them back up. It was highly annoying. They finally gave that up only after the audience started to boo them.
Gardner is his surreptitious earthbound peregrinations would routinely ask strangers that he met, “What do you like most about Earth?” Before he meets Tulsa, he decides on rain for himself. Somewhere during the third reel the predicted line of thunderstorms came crashing through town. The heavy rain on the roof was quite audible. The movie ended after the initial storms had passed, but a steady rain followed us all the way home. We needed the rain, but it was a dark and stormy night… Oh, and the Cubs finally (108 years), finally (rain delay), finally (extra innings) won the World Series again!