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‘Space Cadet’: A Comedy About Chasing Childhood Dreams & Second Chances

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Many of us have had childhood dreams that we took a wrong turn away from somewhere along the way. But what if we were given a second chance to fulfill those dreams? You’d be hard-pressed not to give it a shot, right? Prime Video’s new comedy, Space Cadet, is about just that, as a girl who, along with her mom, dreamt of the stars and joining the NASA astronaut program, only to get side tracked by life in adulthood. That is, until she gets a second chance at her dream job.

Space Cadet stars Emma Roberts as Tiffany “Rex” Simpson, supported by Gabrielle Union, Tom Hopper, Poppy Liu, Kuhoo Verma, Desi Lydic, Andrew Call, Yasha Jackson, Josephine Huang, and Dave Foley.  Responsible for directing and writing the script is producer Liz W. Garcia, who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing about this film. 

But is Space Cadet worth checking out? Read on to see what I thought of this hopeful new comedy from Prime Video.

Chasing dreams and what it takes to become a NASA astronaut in Space Cadet

Who doesn’t love a story about second chances? I certainly do. While Rex doesn’t always make the best choices, she’s a fun character who I found easy to connect with as the film progresses. One reason being, I will always love and appreciate a story about second chances and achieving your dreams, especially when a character appears kind and worthy of success in life.

I also connected with Rex’s story as a woman who lost her mother, and wants to achieve the dreams and goals which her mother would have been proud of. My mom passed a few years ago, and I have similar feelings and thoughts from time to time, and wishing she were with me to see what I’ve accomplished.

Mothers are important to everyone, of course, but especially for women, having another woman to look up to and admire is essential as we grow into adults. This is where the story as a whole of Space Cadet, is also a W in my opinion, both W for “Win” and for “Women,” because it really features a very diverse group of women, in a variety of roles and backgrounds, and showcases how far we can go and what we can do if we put our mind to it. 

 

Famously in Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon’s Elle says about getting into Harvard, “What, like it’s hard?”. In answer to that question, yes. Getting into NASA and becoming an astronaut is hard, it’s very, very hard. And as I discussed with Garcia recently, she did a lot of research and was impressed by how much women have to accomplish to be considered for the program. But more and more women are making the cut, and that’s a wonderful thing to see.

Now, I won’t deny when I saw the trailer for Space Cadet, I was curious if this was going to be like Legally Blonde in space, and wasn’t sure I was going to like it if it was, but Rex is certainly not an Elle Woods wannabe. Emma Roberts’ Rex shines in her own uniqueness from other lead female characters leading similar types of comedies. She is clever, kind, and down to Earth, with just enough quirkiness to keep her interesting. She’s the type of girl you’re going to want to be friends with, and root for, even if she doesn’t always make the best decisions. (But then who always does, really?)

Rex (Emma Roberts) in Space Cadet
Rex (Emma Roberts) in Space Cadet (Eric Liebowitz/Prime Video)

A delightfully diverse supporting cast

Another thing I mentioned in my interview with producer/director/writer Liz W. Garcia was the diversity of the cast in Space Cadet, and how much more enjoyable it was for me as I watched the film. From Rex’s friends like the absolutely hilarious Nadine Cai, played by Poppy Liu, to icon Gabrielle Union as superstar and super smart astronaut Pam Proctor, it was wonderful to see such a wide array of roles here. 

The script and cast was really funny as well. I laughed out loud a bunch of times during my viewing of the film (which trust me, I needed it!). Poppy Liu and Kuhoo Verma as the wonderfully awkward Violet Marie Vislawski, were stand-outs in that respect. I also enjoyed the friendships between these women and Rex, with these two characters being two sides of two different worlds for her.

The other ladies in the cast with characters competing for that big space station shaped prize in the sky are Desi Lydic, Yasha Jackson, and Josephine Huang as Dr. Stacy Kellogg, Grace Jackson, and Miriam Osprey. They help round out what is truly a very diverse group of women from many walks of life, but exceptional in their own ways.

Oh, and there were some guys in it too, of course! It was nice to see Dave Foley again, I’ve been a fan since his Kids in the Hall days, and who doesn’t have a crush on Umbrella Academy’s Tom Hopper? Rounding out the group of candidates, Andrew Call has a great comedic turn as divorcee Captain Jack Mancini as well.

Tom Hopper and Gabrielle Union in Space Cadet
Logan (Tom Hopper) and Pam Proctor (Gabrielle Union) in Space Cadet (Eric Liebowitz/Prime Video)

Final thoughts on Prime Video’s Space Cadet

Should you check out Space Cadet when it comes out this week? If you like stories about second chances and shooting for the stars, then yes, put on your helmet and buckle into your rocket ship and enjoy yourself. If you’re looking for a very serious deep dive into becoming a NASA astronaut, this is probably not for you, so much. It IS a fun trip through the cosmos with some likeable characters, and a hopeful theme, in any case.

Space Cadet launches on Prime Video on July 4, 2024! Are you going to check this movie out later this week? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus!

Exclusive Interview: Space Cadet EP/Writer/Director Liz W. Garcia

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Lizzie Hill

I'm a lifelong fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies. In July 2021, I launched The Cosmic Circus as Editor-In-Chief with a small but passionate group of writers. I am now also the owner/EiC of subdomain site, Cosmic Circus Broadway. @MsLizzieHill on Twitter and Instagram.

Lizzie Hill has 107 posts and counting. See all posts by Lizzie Hill