The nagging doubt in the back of our minds—Is romance as a genre dead?—comes to the fore when we watch a film like The In-Between. The movie itself by Arie Posin is flawless. It has really endearing leads, and Kyle Allen’s Skylar and his puppy dog eyes have us completely smitten. While Joey King’s portrayal of Tessa does a good job in her role and makes us sympathise with her when we aren’t cringing at how often her character is mentioned, it is Skylar and his innocent sweetness that convinces us to give this story the full two hours.
The In-Between Plot Summary: What Is The Story About?
Tessa and Skylar are found on the side of the road, unconscious and hurt, at the beginning of the film. Tessa is taken to the hospital, where she has life-saving surgery, and when she awakens, she learns that Skylar passed away in the incident. The timelines before and after the accident start to alternate from this point on in The In-Between. We’ll be giving a slightly more logical description of it.
Teenager Tessa has experienced a tragic past. When she was a young girl, her father abandoned the family, and her mother was never truly there for her. When Tessa’s mother passed away, the foster care system took her in. Later, Mel, who was her mother’s ex-fianc, and his wife Vicki adopted Tessa. Tessa believes that the people she loves will eventually leave her and is afraid of falling in love because of the instability of her childhood and the need to be constantly on guard. She is a photographer, but she dislikes showing off her work to others.
Skylar, on the other hand, is a well-liked jock who speaks a variety of languages as a result of his father being a professor of linguistics. He adheres to the belief that love endures forever and that you should never give up on your emotions. He is finding the separation from his parents extremely difficult because of this. Being attached to his family makes it difficult for him to accept that they won’t be spending time together.
At a theatre to see the French movie Betty Blue, Tessa and Skylar first meet. Since the movie lacks subtitles, Skylar translates it for her so she can view it. Although there is a spark of affection between them and it appears that they have some similar tastes in literature and art, they part ways before learning more about one another or making any plans. When Tessa sees Skylar a few weeks later at a boat rowing tournament where she has gone as a photographer, both have anticipated that they would not be able to cross paths again. As they converse, Tessa learns that Skylar had searched the internet for her and that he liked her just as much as she did. She expresses her desire for them to get together and spend some time together.
They discuss Tessa’s photography on their first date, and she takes him to the Empyrean, a made-up location where Dante and God supposedly met. They kiss for the first time at this point. She accepts when Skylar tells her he wants to spend the summer with her when he drops her off at home and that he would be back for it. The audience can tell that Tessa likes him but is terrified of hurting him.
Skylar and Tessa discuss everything during the summer, including their lives, insecurities, perspectives on life and love, and everything in between. Skylar confesses his love to Tessa on one of their dates, but she is reluctant to respond. When Tessa kisses Skylar to reassure him, it results in them having an intimate moment for the first time and there is noticeably tension between them as a result.
When they both visit a photography exhibition, Tessa notices that one of her images, which she had given to Skylar as a present, is on show and being sold. This is where the plot of The In-Between picks up. She becomes unhappy about it, and the two of them start fighting as a result. In order for them to stay together when he enrols at Brown, Skylar wants her to achieve her goal of attending RISD. She advises him to give up on attempting to mend broken things, like his parents’ marriage or even her.
A few days later, as they are preparing to get back together, Tessa learns that Skylar might be relocating to Oregon, which would put their locations at opposite ends of the country. She breaks up with Skylar because this piece of information makes all of her fears surface again.
Skylar’s friend Shannon tells her that she wishes Tessa would fight as hard for her life as she does for her art as she frantically tries to contact Tessa. Tessa understands that she has been eluding Skylar, and she no longer desires to do so. Their accident occurs when she seeks him out before he departs the town.
What Happens With Tessa After The Accident?
Following the incident, Tessa encounters a woman named Doris in the hospital who informs her about the “in-between,” which functions as a sort of waiting area for the deceased before they pass on to the afterlife. Tessa is not entirely certain, but she immediately thinks Skylar is attempting to get in touch with her. The physician and her friend both inform her that this is a method of grieving. Mel advises her that she is just like her mother, who gives up on things, and that she should concentrate on her RISD application to divert her attention from other things.
We can’t help but notice how unconnected our good wishes can be from other people’s suffering every time she hears such advise. But going back to the story, Tessa realises that Skylar is there when she manages to capture his soul in a sequence of photos, even though they all instantly go black. When Shannon is told this, she doesn’t believe her, but when all the phones start ringing throughout the mock SAT exam, Shannon starts to believe Tessa.
Tessa is further guided by Skylar’s ghost to create self-portraits in the hopes of capturing him in them. She visits the Empyrean, where she eventually succeeds in spotting him. Tessa is challenged by Mel and Vicki when she gets home for swiping the latter’s credit card to purchase photography equipment. She loses consciousness as a result of the fight, which causes the stitches in her heart to rip. She is going to tell the doctor that she must tell Skylar that she loves him, something she did not get to do while he was alive, when she is brought to the hospital, but she loses consciousness before she can finish.
She escapes the hospital, though, with the aid of Shannon and Skylar’s ghost, and together they return to the scene of the collision. She recalls meeting Skylar before he left and apologising for pushing him away as she passes out once more. She also admitted to him that she loved him, proving that he was aware.
The In-Between Ending Explained Does Tessa Live?
Tessa’s spirit is with Skylar as they are being transported back to the hospital, as if they were engaging in all of their desired activities together. Skylar instructs Tessa to return and give them a happy ending when the doctor back at the hospital claims that Tessa had to wish to live in order to awaken from her coma.
After being awakened from surgery, Tessa accepts that she must now live her life. Tessa is headed to RISD to submit her images a few weeks later, after she has fully recovered and has a much better connection with her parents. She discusses what being happy has come to mean for her at the end of The In-Between and how she has learned to accept the ghosts in her life rather than push them away.
The difficult process of learning to let love in has come to a conclusion with this. When you shield yourself from the lows, you also miss out on the highs, Vicki remarks in one of the scenarios. The highs make the lows worthwhile when it comes to love and life. Tessa was injured by the unpredictability of love, to be sure, but she was still loved, and that would stay with her forever. The calm and stability she had been seeking came from learning to accept her past and comprehend her present without continually resisting them. Perhaps as a result, the anguish of the broken heart was worth it.
In retrospect, The In-Between is a sweet film that we would have enjoyed if it weren’t for how repetitious everything was. As we have stated, the only issue with the movie is that it has already been made. We only want to see more of Kyle Allen, and that’s all we can say about it. Other than that, we must consider that this is now the best example of romance in popular culture.
Arie Posin is the director of the 2022 romantic drama The In-Between.