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The In Between review: The Kissing Booth star Joey King’s movie only caters to hopeless romantics

The In Between is nothing special, it’s forgettable like a lot of Netflix romance movies that have come and gone.

2rating
  • Devki Nehra

Last Updated: 06.47 AM, Apr 11, 2022

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The In Between review: The Kissing Booth star Joey King’s movie only caters to hopeless romantics

A still from The In Between | YouTube screengrab

Story: Tessa and Skylar fall in love after having a meet-cute at a local theatre playing a French arthouse film. The film doesn’t have any subtitles so Skylar offers to translate, and predictably so they end up cosying up to each other. Their love story meets an abrupt end after a fatal car accident leaves Skylar dead and Tessa with a heart condition. Tessa is obviously down in the dumps after this tragedy until Skylar tries to make contact with her from the “in-between” that’s kind of like a “waiting room” for souls.

Verdict: I have a bone to pick with Netflix. Why release a movie if you’re entirely giving away the story in the trailer? It’s vexing how moviemakers habitually reveal a whole lot more than they should in trailers, and leave nothing to the imagination. It didn’t take me longer than a moment to figure out that The In Between is a tragic love story about two lovers — one alive and the other in the afterlife — reuniting to attain closure. The story, in spite of being a solid corny affair, really believes that “love never dies”, something that the target audiences, teenagers mostly, will lap up.

The In Between, which runs close to two hours and features Joey King of the insipid Kissing Booth trilogy with Kyle Allen of West Side Story fame, remixes a little bit of this and a little bit of that from romances of the past like Titanic and Ghost. Titanic because their parting is untimely and Ghost because Skylar lurks around Tessa in order to establish contact with her. The two actors make an eye-catching, complementing pair, so that’s a plus point. So is their on-screen chemistry.

The story, set across two timelines, unfolds like a Wattpad romance novel — one character is resistant to the idea of love while the other is a full-blown hopeless romantic. Tessa is an orphan who has seen a lot in life and uses photography as a means to express herself but also to keep the world at an arm’s distance. Meanwhile, Skylar is her exact opposite, like a muted male manic pixie dream boy, who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Now, the story is only engrossing when it focuses on the romance between these two. If you tap into the teenager within you, you might just enjoy the initial sparks between them, their little dates and how INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ becomes their song. Writer Marc Klein and director Arie Posin really try to instil hope in the viewers that "love never dies". The supernatural bits are dull at best. If the movie was a straightforward romance without them, no one would have complained.

Also, there’s no explanation of this “in-between'' except for the beginning when Tessa meets Doris, a medium of sorts writing a book on the afterlife while she's recuperating in the hospital after her accident. Tessa refuses the book when offered in the first place then returns to the hospital to know more about this other dimension where restless souls are stuck and waiting to pass over to heaven or hell or wherever it is that souls go. Though she doesn't find Doris to answer her questions, she does find the book waiting for her. I don’t even think she reads it, just stows it away for another day.

Verdict: The In Between is nothing special, it’s forgettable like a lot of Netflix romance movies that have come and gone.

The In Between is streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here —

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