Both a fish-out-of-water tale and an adolescent romance, Gardner and Tulsa’s road trip provides the first-time visitor with a lot of humorous opportunities to marvel at the world’s ordinary wonders. It involves a fair amount of lying, stealing (cars and airplanes), destroying property and evading authorities as well – most of which are portrayed as consequence free. While on the run, the pair even squeezes in time to explore a sexual relationship (we see the presumably-naked couple cuddling and kissing in a shared sleeping bag).
Although billed as a sci-fi, not much attention is paid to such details. The world of the future shown here is limited to some fancy (and impractical) laptops and one autonomous car. The science is pure fiction in its portrayals of real-time, inter-planetary communications. And there are a few basic facts about reproduction that these supposedly “intelligent” characters really ought to have known.
However, if you are willing to overlook these and a few other obvious flaws, Gardner’s quest does offer strong messages about the importance of connection and family. Tulsa, a foster child, is also longing for these things. It seems no matter how exotic the place you are from may be, there is still a universal desire to close the space between where one is and where one belongs.