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This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast

March 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

Happy Sunday, Kansas City! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Disney’s newest live action film Beauty and the Beast is now out in theaters. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, got a peek at the film and has a great review of what to expect. Take a look!

This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast


This Weekend at the Box Office: Beauty and the Beast


You all know how excited I was to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. My kids and I had planned an entire day, we had our manicures done, our outfits picked out and then my kids decided they did not want to see the movie. “It’s going to be too scary,” they told me. We had watched every preview, many of which showed the beast growling, or falling, and wolf attacks and torch toting villagers. My kids didn’t bat an eye. However, as more adults asked them if they’d be afraid, they decided they probably would be and bowed out. I was disappointed, but ultimately it ended up being for the best.

I ended up enlisting a couple friends and we went to see the new Disney movie Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson. First thing to note: there were some pretty intense scenes. Many parents shuffled little ones out during a particularly scary scene involving wolves and I thought to myself, that would have been me leaving with my four-year-old. Later in the movie, there is another dark scene (I don’t want to give anything away), and I know my six-year-old would be wanting to leave as well. So, this new version of Beauty and the Beast- it is definitely for adults and older kids. It is rated PG, and I’m thinking it’s probably best for kids age 10 and up.

Now on to the fun stuff! Beauty and the Beast fans will NOT be disappointed. It has everything you loved about the old cartoon version and MORE. All your favorite songs are in the movie- plus a couple more. The characters are all included and endearing, but are given more backstory and portrayed a bit deeper. Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) I think were particularly entertaining. They balanced each other nicely and did an incredible job portraying some of the films silliest characters. The story follows true to the original movie, but again, you get more. I enjoyed that, but I also thought at times they put in things that were unnecessary.

One thing I liked about the film, although one of my friend’s disagreed, was this version of Belle. She’s the only literate female in her village. She wants to teach children to read, she invents things, she’s clever and independent and truly the hero of the movie. Belle does not wait around for Gaston, her dad, the Beast, or anyone to help. In fact, she often feels that it’s her job to rescue everyone else. Whereas in the cartoon movie Belle swaps positions as prisoner with her dad because he’s sick, in this movie she does it because she’s sure she can escape. I liked Emma Watson’s Belle, not only because I love to see strong female characters, but because it added a connection between her and the Beast. They both are very lonely outsiders. People don’t understand them, nor do they try to.

The screening of this movie was 3D, and I want to go see the film without 3D. It practically ruined it for me. I don’t know if it was the theater, but even with the glasses, a lot of the movie was dark (in terms of brightness) and blurry. Some moments with the 3D were neat, but most of the time I was frustrated that I couldn’t take in all of the scenery because it was blurry. It was incredibly distracting. That being said- when I could see the backgrounds, they were gorgeous. The castle was amazing and it’s unreal some of the effects. (Cogsworth gets a stunning makeover).

I guess I’d give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. Although it is incredible, it was overly ambitious and fell short for me. I’d rather have a movie I could’ve taken my kids to. There were some technical issues (the 3D, Belle not looking in the proper spot during scenes), but it did have enough magic to help me remember why I loved the old cartoon movie as a kid so much.


From iFamily to Yours,

This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine

March 14, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet


Hello, Kansas City! This movie review is a tad different than most. Land of Mine debuted at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and was just recently nominated for an Oscar. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, had a chance to see it recently and gives us her thoughts below. Take a look..

This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine


Rated: R
Run Time: 1 hr 40 min
Director: Martin Zandvliet
Starring: Roland Moller, Louis Hoffman, Joel Basman

This Weekend at the Box Office: Land of Mine


I was asked to screen and review Land of Mine, a foreign film that debuted in 2015 at the Toronto Film Festival. In a sea of movies about war, this film sets itself apart by telling a tale about what happens after the war is over. After World War II, German POWs in Denmark, had to rid the country of the 2.2 million landmines the German army had buried along Denmark’s coast before they could return home. Nearly half of those soldiers were killed or terribly injured.
Of these POWs, many were boys. I don’t mean ‘boys’ like they haven’t had time to start a family, I mean ‘boys’ like they couldn’t have driven a car. I looked it up and in Germany, boys could enlist at the age of 16, but it is known that the Nazi’s occasionally took boys even younger than that. This film centers on a Dutch sergeant who is tasked with overseeing a group of German soldiers clear a beach of 45,000 mines. He is surprised at the group of soldiers he gets and he struggles between hating them for their nationality and sympathizing with them for their situation. The boys are told if they clear the mines, they can go home. They struggle though, with starvation, illness and trauma taking tolls.
This movie is violent, and heart-breaking and one of the most haunting films I have seen. Perhaps I have been subsisting on too many children’s movies- I kept waiting for a Disney-like finale where these terrible men get what’s coming and the boys make it out unscathed. However, this is not a movie for children and I had to be happy with the bits (and I mean BITS) of courage and hope that shine through.
As I sobbed my way through the film, I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathetic for all involved. The Dutch HATED the Germans; and following WWII, who could really blame them. Yet you also felt so badly for these children, being starved and traumatized as a country took out their hatred on some of those least deserving. Of course, if this was a movie about men who had been running concentration camps clearing a beach, there wouldn’t be much of an emotional journey to ask of the audience.
In the film, a woman lives nearby with her young daughter. She wants her daughter to stay away from the soldiers and she is cruel towards the boys. At first I was offended on the boys’ behalf. How could a mother treat someone else’s child like this? But then I put myself in her shoes. Living with a small girl while soldiers had been going through the country doing terrible things to women and children. What had happened to her husband? I suppose I would have been fearful and hateful too. The film doesn’t explore the history of its characters, so their motivation is open to interpretation and musings. I think this was quite brilliant as it washed away everything that had built up to this moment. You don’t know why the characters feel as they do (although you can guess), so you are left to judge and interpret only their actions in this moment. It casts things in a different light.
Land of Mine has spectacular acting, a beautiful setting and will be a movie that tugs at my heart whenever I think of it. I can’t tell you that you will enjoy it, but is a fantastic film and deserves to be seen. I applaud Martin Zandvliet, who wrote and directed this film, for telling one of the most difficult stories to come out of such a bleak moment in history with honesty, integrity and heart. While during the movie I kept thinking that it was about hate, but I think it really is about humanizing the enemy. It is about finding compassion and forgiveness when perhaps none is deserved. I definitely recommend this film; but know that you are in for a good cry.


From iFamily to Yours,





This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island

March 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! This weekend, there’s a new film hitting theaters – Kong: Skull Island. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, got a chance at a sneak peek and has a great review below. It is rated PG-13 and as Brigette mentions, this may be better for the older kids and adults. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island


Rated: PG-13
Run time: 2 hrs
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson


This Weekend at the Box Office: Kong : Skull Island


Let me start by saying this, “Kong is King”! If you are like me and enjoy movies about adventure, Sci-fi, fantasy creatures and laughs, then you will enjoy this installment of King Kong!
This film takes place in the 70’s with a two “truth seekers” looking to find answers about a mysterious uncharted island. After rallying a troop of service men, a photographer and other scientists they venture off into the unknown.
Starting off this movie was a little slow. I don’t know if I was just anxious to see Kong back on the big screen or if there was just…. Well, slow to start because of all the science talk and looking for partners to join them.
However, the real adventure starts from the moment they approach the island! I was drawn back to my seat pretty much the whole movie! With a whole cast of top tier celebs like Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Samuel Jackson (Avengers), John Goodman (Monsters Inc) and Brie Larson (21 jump street). In my opinion the true star of the movie (outside of Kong) was John C. Reilly! He kept the laughs coming, even when the director had you in in awe of the all the action.
This movie is visually entertaining and exciting! There are a few cuss words and at times it can get pretty graphic. Overall, I think it is a good family movie for the older kiddos!
I would rate Kong : Skull Island an 8/10!

PS: See it in IMAX 3D!!


From iFamily to Yours,







5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty and the Beast Viewing

March 6, 2017 at 10:55 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, MoviesComments Off on 5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty and the Beast Viewing

Bonjour, Kansas City! We here at iFamilyKC are so excited for the upcoming Disney live action version of Beauty & the Beast. It’s set to hit theaters on March 17th, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has some great ideas to add a little extra magic to your viewing experience. Take a look…

5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing


5 Creative Ways to Add Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing


Hear that collective squeal??? It’s Disney fans across the country getting excited about the nearing release of The Beauty and the Beast. Eeeeh! Disney films have been receiving top-notch, live action make-overs and I am loving it. As a mom of two girls, and heck, just someone who grew up on Disney movies, I can’t wait for the new Beauty and The Beast. It stars Emma Watson and comes out in just a couple weeks. It has been 2 years since the live-action Cinderella was released, and when it did, I decided to make a special day of it. Our ‘Cinderella Day’ was such a hit that I had many mom friends copy the plan with their own kids. Now’s our chance to do it again!
When Cinderella came out, I bought the tickets ahead of time and started the day with a fancy brunch at the Majestic downtown. Afterwards, we went home for a wardrobe change. My kids love to dress up in their fancy clothes and almost always have a dress on. Me, not so much. My tiny fashionistas like to often tell me that I should wear heels and skirts more often. So, I let them play fairy godmother and pick out my outfit for the day. An old cocktail dress and my most sparkly shoes were what they picked out for me.
Once we were all dressed for a ball, we headed out for blow outs (in addition to fashion deficiencies- I am also terrible at hair). This was the first time the girls went to a salon and they were apprehensive. Afterwards though, they loved their fancy up do’s. We then met a friend for manicures and pedicures, followed by the movie.

5 Creative Ways to Add More Magic to Your Beauty & the Beast Viewing
Sure, we got some looks rolling into that theater, and I wasn’t super comfortable in my outfit. But we had a fantastic day and we never do anything so extravagant. It was certainly a memorable day for us all. I had a couple friends who loved the idea, but didn’t want to spend the money. They did hair and manicures at home and the moms didn’t participate.
Cinderella obviously called for a make-over, but Beauty and the Beast is a bit more flexible. Here are my top 5 ways to bring a little extra magic to your Beauty and the Beast viewing.

#1 French food

This time our itinerary includes going to Aixois. It is one of my favorite restaurants in Kansas City, so although it is usually more or a date spot, I had to add it. If you’d rather skip a restaurant, you can make crepes for breakfast or a snack. Bon Appe ́tit!

#2 Books

You can visit the library, or read a book at home together. We are stopping by Rainy Day Books, our favorite ‘village’ bookstore.

#3 Beautify

While we won’t be doing the whole makeover shebang this time, I did pick up some Disney Collection by Jamberry nail wraps. The Beauty and the Beast ones are too cute and the products and 8 free (meaning they don’t contain Formaldehyde and other toxins many nail polishes do).

#4 Save a Beast

Why not take this movie as an opportunity to feel like storybook heroines? You too can save a ‘beast’ by adopting a new friend at a local shelter, like KC Pet Project or Wayside Waifs.

#5 Invent Something

Help your kiddos brainstorm something new! If you have time to work on it, fantastic, but this could even just help entertain you all while you wait for the movie to begin.

I’m a big fan of adding a touch of magic where I can and I will certainly be looking forward to March 17th.


From iFamily to Yours,





This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

March 3, 2017 at 9:07 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan

Happy Friday AND Happy Opening to the new film, Logan. For anyone interested (…or obsessed) with the X-Men universe, they are back at it again with Logan, focusing on the character of Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman). A special note, that even though this is based on a comic book, it is not recommended for the kids, so maybe consider making this a parent’s night out. Logan is out today, but our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette had a chance at a sneak peek and gives us the low down below. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan


Rated: R
Run Time: 2hr 17 min
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen



This Weekend at the Box Office: Logan


The title says it all. Not “X- Men,” not some impossible quest, not Wolverine. I wanted this movie to be the highlight of my movie going experience for 2017, but ultimately I don’t think it was.

Logan takes place in the not so distant future and it stars a tired, worn out Wolverine serving as what I’m guessing is an Uber driver. The movie begins a little slow, but picks up more excitement when they introduce a new mutant named Laura. Much like Wolverine she bears pure rage and a set of claws that are not to be taken lightly.

While trying to protect Laura from those “scientists” that created her, Logan finds himself in the fight for his life and those he comes in contact with. I don’t want to say too much more about the story line because I KNOW there will be spoilers lol. But the truth is this, the movie was great… for another character! The storyline was well written and the directing was spot on. But this was not what I was hoping it was going to be!

Also, unlike other X- Men character movies this was overly gory. Sure, it’s a super hero movie and they are killing bad guys, I get that, but I can’t recall any other X-Men character movies that were on this level. From claws ripping through bodies, continuous foul language and even a quick (totally unnecessary) brief nudity scene, Logan is definitely not a family movie!
Overall, I did enjoy the movie, I just wish it wasn’t about Wolverine. I would give this movie an 8/10 for the whole movie but a 1/10 as a Wolverine fan.


From iFamily to Yours,







This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

February 17, 2017 at 7:00 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

Happy Weekend, iFamily! We here at iFamilyKC love to bring you the best and most honest reviews of current films. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, had the opportunity to check out the new movie, A Cure for Wellness. Before you head to the theater, make sure to take a look at her review, and be aware that this is not appropriate for the kiddos. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

Release Date: 2017 February 17

Run Time: 146 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Lisa Banes, Ivo Nandi, Susanne Wuest

In Gore Verbinski’s latest psychological thriller, A Cure for Wellness, a businessman, played by Dane DeHaan, is sent by his company to the Swiss Alps to bring the CEO of the company back to close a merger who has checked into a mysterious wellness center. After an accident, he finds himself recovering in the place he was headed to pick up his boss. Throughout the movie, DeHaan discovers that this place of relaxation and healing isn’t at all what it appears to be.

I enjoy a good scare from a film but this movie was extremely disturbing to say the very least. There were several scenes that I was so uncomfortable and the so-called “thrilling conclusion” left me with a sick and disgusted feeling. I wanted to be able to provide a complete review for the iFamilyKC readers, but in all honesty I would have preferred to walk out with the three other individuals who did just that. This movie is not for children, whatsoever. Maybe not for parents either. I would recommend, if you are a parent, that you understand this movie gave me nightmares for 2 solid nights (and I am 34).

I give the sickening and unforgivable, A Cure for Wellness, a solid 3 out of a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. I probably would have given it a 1 or a 2 had it not been for the awesome visual effects throughout the film. I wish there was a button I could push to get 146 minutes of my life back. I think the movie could have easily earned an NC-17 rating, especially with the disgustingly unforgivable conclusion. A Cure for Wellness is in theaters February 17th and you will be longing for cure from the disconcerting feeling this film leaves you with.


From iFamily to Yours,





10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!

February 11, 2017 at 11:12 AM • Posted in Family Events & Activities, MoviesComments Off on 10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!

Howdy, Kansas City! One of my family and I’s favorite activities is finding new movies on Netflix. It’s such an easy way to navigate and find a film that fits everyones interests for a ridiculously cheap price. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great ideas for family friendly films to check out for your next movie night. Check it out!

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


What is one thing that kids always want but parents hesitate to do? Give up? It’s a family movie night! I hope I’m not the only one that shudders at the thought of watching Air Bud movies for the fifth time in a row, I mean come on…. AGAIN?! And don’t even get my started on ticket and concession prices! You spend all this loot on popcorn, drinks and a movie that you don’t even really want to see, only to end up leaving the theater for potty breaks or a screaming kid. But with 10+ years’ experience and 4 kids later, I’d like to consider myself a master at family movie night!


For years now I have voted, picked numbers and made deals when it comes to family movies and I must say there are always a few hidden gems or classics that parents and kids can agree on! So instead of loading the car up for your next family movie night only to see something you could care less about, check out these family movies that the kids and you will enjoy, plus they are available on Netflix now!


#1 Penelope

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


This cute story about a young girl cursed with the nose of a pig, lives a lonely life until she meets someone that can change all that.


#2 Annie

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


The story of a young orphan girl that gets adopted by a rich Daddy Warbucks.


#3 Parent Trap

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


Twins separated at birth trying to reunite their parents and scare off their dad’s fiancé. This movie is such a cute family movie full of laughs!


#4 Honey I Shrunk the Kids

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


A CLASSIC and favorite in our house! Four Kids accidentally shrink themselves with their dad’s one of a kind inventions!


#5 Honey We Shrunk Ourselves


10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


This is the 3rd installment of the hit franchise. This may not be as funny as the first one, but it is definitely a family favorite!


#6 Harry and the Hendersons

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


Two words.. BIG FOOT! This classic film is about a small suburban family with an unlikely house guest.


#7 Daddy Daycare

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


This is definitely my husband’s top choice! A dad down on his luck, does what he can to support his family and make sure his son has the time of his life!


#8 Paulie

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


I normally steer clear of talking animal movies, but how can you resist this cute little girl and unique bird.


#9 Flubber

10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


The late Robin Williams is a mad scientist that creates a one of a kind invention, but what happens when everyone wants it?


#10 1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman story


10 Great Family Friendly Movies on Netflix Now!


A true example of will and determination. This true story will leave everyone inspired!


I hope this list of family friendly movies will make your next family movie night more enjoyable for everyone! What are some movies that you and your family enjoy watching together?


From iFamily to Yours,







This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2

February 10, 2017 at 2:40 PM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2

Wahoo, it is Friday, Kansas City! If you’re looking for a not-so-conventional Valentine’s Day movie date idea, check out John Wick Chapter 2. It brings John out of retirement, and into some new, action-packed predicaments. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, was able to get a sneak peek and gives us the low down. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2


Release Date: 10 February 2017

Run Time: 2hr 2 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Chad Stahelski

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ricard Scimarcio



This Weekend at the Box Office: John Wick Chapter 2


Ok, I felt kind of bad getting ready to go in and see this film. My husband and I saw the first installment of this film a long, long time ago and I honestly didn’t really remember a lot of details. I knew Keanu Reeves was in it and he was killing a lot of people. That was honestly all I could remember. But chapter 2… Chapter 2 is different…


This movie was so full of action and excitement I couldn’t look away (except for a few cringe worthy scenes). Keanu was never one of my favorite actors but I loved him in this film! Keanu plays a notorious hitman, forced out of retirement by a blood oath that would require him to go up against some of the elitist killers of their secret society. On his forced mission, he is reunited with old friends, old enemies and new ones.

Of course a movie like this is going to have a lot of violence and foul language, but I never expected the comedic scenes to actually be funny! I laughed, jumped and at times I couldn’t believe how cool this movie was.

This is definitely not a family oriented movie but I’m sure anyone that likes perfectly choreographed fight scenes, comedy and secret societies would love this movie!

I give John Wick Chapter 2 an 8/10


From iFamily to Yours,






This Weekend at the Box Office: The Comedian

February 3, 2017 at 9:47 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: The Comedian

Howdy, Kansas City! There’s another movie out this weekend, The Comedian, with an absolute all star cast including Robert de Niro, Leslie Mann, and Danny DeVito. This one is definitely not for the kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, had a chance to check this film out a little early, and has a few words of advice before going to see it. Check it out…

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Comedian // iFamilyKC Blog

Release Date: 3 February 2017

Run Time: 1hr 59 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Taylor Hackford

Cast: Robert de Niro, Leslie Mann, Danny Devito


The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro, comes out February 3rd. Before this screening opportunity arose, I had heard nothing about it. Now I know why. This thing was a total flop. It boasts a spectacular cast: Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel, Edie Falco… I mean come on! As names popped up during the opening credits, my excitement and expectations went up and up. However, twenty minutes in, I was hoping I could tell people to rent it. An hour in, I was trying to figure out what exactly was so off-putting. (The vulgarity? The director? The annoying jazz music??) After an hour and half I wanted to leave- but I still had 29 painful minutes to go.

Sadly, I never did figure out how a film with so much star power could go so wrong. De Niro plays Jackie, a stand-up comedian known for his time years ago on a sitcom. He wants to move on from the popular character, but no one is interested in seeing him as anything else. After an altercation at a gig, he ends up with community service where he meets Harmony (Mann). They become friends and bring a bit of light to each other’s lives. Although this premise sounds promising, Jackie is a total jerk. Much of his comedy is brash, hateful and gross and he is mean to everyone around him. He goes through the film being rude to anyone near him (even those trying to help him) and never takes any responsibility for his actions. Harmony is a bit of a train wreck. She has issues with her father and while Mann’s bubbly personality shines through at times, her character is also difficult to like. In fact, there were only two performances I really enjoyed in the film. Danny DeVito was charming as Jackie’s brother and Cloris Leachman was a great choice to play an aging comedy legend. Both didn’t get nearly enough screen time (Leachman tragically so). Although, Leachman’s character makes a racist joke which is really inappropriate and completely not funny.

The movie is very vulgar. I mean stand-up generally is. Perhaps after a few cocktails, sitting in a dark basement the movie and the terrible, terrible jazz would go down easier. But I still don’t think it would make the film funny. The jokes fell flat and many had a mean vibe to them (like Leachman’s). I thought perhaps I was being sensitive, but no one else in the theater laughed either, nor did anyone claim to like the movie. I’m sad to say it, but I would pass on this one, unless you really want to see every De Niro film ever made. Or if poorly executed mean comedy is your thing.


From iFamily to Yours,

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Space Between Us

February 3, 2017 at 9:27 AM • Posted in MoviesComments Off on This Weekend at the Box Office: The Space Between Us

Happy Friday, Kansas City! If you have some teens in your household (or like teen movies yourself), The Space Between Us, might be right up your alley to check out this weekend. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, had a chance at a sneak peek and shares her thoughts with us below. Check it out…

This Weekend at the Box Office: The Space Between Us // iFamilyKC Blog

Release Date: 3 February 2017

Run Time: 120 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Peter Chelsom

Cast: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino


This weekend, The Space Between Us hits theaters. It is a charming story about a boy (Gardner) raised on the planet Mars, who desperately wants to go to Earth. Due to brittle bones and an enlarged heart, scientists are not sure that he would survive Earth’s gravity. Gardner’s mother dies shortly after giving birth to him and so he has been raised by scientists and is desperate to have a real connection with other people. That is where Tulsa comes in; a foster kid Gardner meets online and develops a relationship with. It stars Asa Butterfield (from Hugo and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) and Britt Robertson (from Tomorrowland and Mother’s Day). Both give good performances, although their characters (especially Robertson’s) do not get all the development they deserve.

Eventually, Gardner makes it to Earth, and to little surprise, sneaks off to find Tulsa. The two of them take off on an adventure and he gets to see some of the most stunning countryside the United States can offer. Perhaps being the mother of young children, I harbored a bit of disbelief that a boy whose body is having difficulties adapting to Earth could do some of the things he did. They must have been giving him a heck of a lot of immunizations on that 7-month trip through space. As he goes through the film, Gardner asks everyone what their favorite thing about Earth is. It’s a charming reminder that often the simplest things are the most meaningful. Eventually his health begins deteriorating and it is clear his time on Earth is coming to an end.

Based on the trailers, I thought this movie was only a teenage romance film, but the story hints at bigger themes with space exploration and the importance of family. And although I didn’t dislike The Space Between Us, I don’t feel like the film reached its full potential. It was directed by Peter Chelsom whose previous movies included Serendipity and Hanna Montana: The Movie. The storyline jumped around at times and it had quite a few plot holes and clichés. If you aren’t looking for anything too serious though, it was still an enjoyable movie. And if your teens are looking for a movie to check out for Valentine’s Day weekend, this may a contender, but I doubt it will get much hype. I think this is a better movie to rent at home. Despite one teen romantic interlude, the film is pretty family friendly (it is rated PG-13). I give The Space Between Us a 3 out of 5.


From iFamily to Yours,