Parents' Guide to

Space Oddity

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dramedy about dreams and depression has drunk sex, language.

Movie PG-13 2023 92 minutes
Space Oddity Movie Poster: A young Black woman has her arms around a young White man who's looking toward Mars in the sky above the movie's title; below are images of other characters

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kyra Sedgwick's amiable feature directing debut doesn't soar into space, but it does lift above the atmosphere. Space Oddity is enough to keep you looking out the window, if not quite enough to make you sure it was worth your while. Her gentle approach is competent, but it misses the mark in casting. Allen is talented and expressive, and he gives an empathetic performance. But the movie makes it clear that Alex is supposed to be the local "weird kid," someone the whole town has seen grow up and considers an oddball. However, other than whole-heartedly pursuing a far-fetched career scheme, there's nothing unusual or "weird" about Alex. He's conventionally attractive and only a little awkward, so when Daisy takes a romantic interest in him, it's not like it's because she immediately sees him for the person that he is. He's a cutie and they appear to be the only 21-year-olds in the entire town: Of course they're going to get together!

This matters because why tell this story -- why create a character who doesn't fit in the small town he can't escape -- if not to create a touchstone of relatability for viewers? This may make Space Oddity better suited for parents, who will connect with the idea that parents are ground control for kids who seem to be having a failure to launch. Still, while Alex's ambition is out of this world, the story and tone are grounded as the movie contrasts Alex's family's love and support with Daisy's.

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