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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 25, 2022



JOEY KING started as a child actress. We best remember as the daughter of Channing Tatum in the action thriller, “White House Down”, and as the haunted girl in the very first “The Conjuring” movie. 

She later got nominated as Emmy best actress for her role in “The Act” as the girl who murdered her mother for exploiting her all her life. 

She gained teen stardom in Netflix' “The Kissing Booth”, a teen romantic comedy that was such a hit it had two sequels. 

She now stars in “The In Between”, based on a young adult novel, and plays Tessa, a high school student who grew up with foster parents and has a very cynical worldview. 

The movie starts with a car crash. Tessa is lying on the road with her boyfriend, Skylar (Kyle Allen of “A Map of Tiny Perfect Things”, about a boy trapped in a “Groundhog Day” kind of time loop). 

She regains consciousness in a hospital and learns that Skylar unfortunately didn’t survive the accident. 

We then see their love story in a series of flashbacks. 

They first met when Tessa went to a local theater showing an old French movie, “Betty Blue”. It turns out it has no subtitles and a guy in the moviehouse, Skylar, speaks French and offers to translate it for her. 

What a cute meet, isn’t it? They are obviously attracted to each other but they parted without exchanging their numbers or anything. Tessa’s hobby is photography and she is told to cover a rowing competition. 

There, she sees Skylar again as he is one of the rowers. 

They go out and she takes him to an abandoned hotel where he teaches her how to dance the waltz and they get to kiss. 

On a July 4th celebration, they go out on a boat and he teaches her how to row, declaring how much he loves her. But Tessa has so many issues she has difficulty expressing herself.  

In the present, Tessa continues to pine for Skylar and tells her best friend Shannon (Celeste O’Connor) about the In-Between, a place in the great beyond where someone who just died can have one final communication with a loved one before moving on. 

Shannon doesn’t contradict her but even tolerates her by helping her try to get in touch with her dead boyfriend.  

She even drives her to places where they felt strongly connected, hoping Skylar will communicate with her. They get to connect on a mirror at the abandoned hotel but the mirror breaks. 

At this point, everything has gotten so tedious as the movie is needlessly going on and on. It’s too long for such mawkish sentimental crap. 

From the start, it’s clear that they’re not good for each other. Skylar has a good family life, with parents who love him, he’s an outstanding student and athlete and has already been accepted in a good school for college. He’s also a handsome and very charming jock. 

In contrast, Tessa has an ax to grind against the world and should clearly be undergoing therapy. Having her as a girlfriend will definitely be a challenging test of patience. 

She’s also short and a bit fat. Honestly, we don’t know what Skylar sees in such a problematic girl. 

And theirs is a tragic summer romance we just can’t sympathize with. Tessa keeps on trying to connect with a dead guy. What she really needs is an exorcism. 

The film is based on a novel written by Mark Klein, who also wrote the screenplay. 

When Tessa learns that Skylar can speak French and Italian, she tells him: “If I could just read Dante’s Inferno in the original, my life would be complete.” 

This feels so forcing through. Tigilan nga ako, no! Go ka na lang sa impiyerno at doon ka nga nababagay. Watch na lang ako ng “Euphoria”.