Shortly after Aurora wakes up, she asks Jim how long he's been alone on the ship. A year and three weeks, he tells her.
"More than a year?" she says. "I can't imagine. It must've been so hard on you."
"It was," Jim says, and we see the sadness in his eyes.
Passengers ruminates on the power of loneliness, the beauty of connection and how each of these things color our worlds. When Jim, utterly alone, slaps on a space suit and takes a trip outside the ship's hull, he's overwhelmed by the sense of isolation—a seemingly solitary soul in an achingly empty, eternal universe. When he takes the same space walk with Aurora, the universe becomes a place of wonder.
Those of us who have family and friends in our lives can forget—or have maybe never known—how difficult loneliness is. If this film teaches us anything, perhaps it reminds us to connect with people—both the people we love and the people who may need connection more than they'll ever say.
But let's face it: If Passengers teaches us anything, it's only as an afterthought. The film is an entertainment vehicle. And like the spaceship we see on screen, it does its job only halfway well.
Yes, it boasts Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, arguably two of the most likeable actors working today, and asks us to spend a couple of hours with them. The story itself is at turns gripping and romantic, just as you'd expect it to be.
But this cinematic starship totes along some unfortunate baggage, particularly in the realm of sexuality. It's one thing to see these two actors fall in love, it's another to see them making it. While nothing overtly critical is seen, there's still way more skin here than you might expect in a PG-13 flick.