Keep your space from "The Space Between Us"

Britt Robertson and  Asa Butterfield appear in a scene from "The Space Between Us."

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to see a Nicholas Sparks movie set in space, then "The Space Between Us" is the movie for you.

This oft-delayed film is finally dumped into theaters. But no matter how many times you push back the release date (it was moved from summer to December, only to be moved again at the last minute), you can't escape the stench of a bad movie that is destined to be among the worst of whatever year it eventually lands.

"The Space Between Us" tells the story of the first mission to colonize Mars, which hits a snag when one of the astronauts discovers she is pregnant and eventually she dies from complications while giving birth on Mars.

Flash forward 16 years, with the child now an inquistive boy named Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) who has been hidden from the public.

He may be hidden, but that doesn't stop him from striking up an online friendship with Tulsa (Britt Roberston), a street smart foster child currently residing in Colorado.

Garner finally convinces the powers that be to have a chance to come to Earth, where he slips NASA so he can find Tulsa and set out for his real reason for returning home – to find his dad.

This plot is even goofier than it sounds – going from fish out of water oddball comedy to sappy teen romance in a blink (sometimes within the same scene).

The science fiction elements probably generate more laughs than the fish out of water stuff – starting with why an astronaut doesn't discover she is pregnant during the rigorous pre-launch medical exams – with enough plot holes to fit into the Grand Canyon (which appropriately enough makes an appearance).

The romance proceeds like a Sparks novel, with Robertson and Butterfield having zero chemistry. Speaking of Robertson, who is the best thing going in this film, this is the second release in a row in which she has played a high school kid. Can we see her play an actual adult any time soon?

Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino also appear in supporting roles that just serve to bloat the running time to two hours. None of it really matters, though, because ultimately "Space" can't overcome a shaky premise that only gets shakier as the film goes along.

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