10 Best Movies Like Space Cadet

Summary

  • Space Cadet, a comedy movie about Rex Simpson (Emma Roberts) and a group of astronaut candidates training to go to space, has some similarities to other popular comedy movies.
  • Space Cadet appears to take inspiration from the classic feminist romantic comedy Legally Blonde, with stories about subverting stereotypes, believing in yourself, and achieving your goals.
  • Wild Child (2008) is another Emma Roberts movie in which the main character goes on a comedic and emotional journey to find out how to fit in an unfamiliar environment.

Amazon Prime Video’s Space Cadet has earned comparisons to movies that came before it, and there are many movies viewers can watch after finishing the 2024 romantic comedy. Space Comedy stars Emma Roberts as Tiffany “Rex” Simpson, a woman who gets inspired at her 10-year high school reunion to return to her dream of being an astronaut. Despite her lack of qualifications, with the help of her friend who falsifies her resume behind her back, Rex gets accepted into a training program at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

The Space Cadet cast helps bring the unrealistic space plot to life with their comedic talent. Roberts shines as Rex, and her chemistry with Tom Hopper makes their romance come across as natural despite him being her superior and complete opposite. Unfortunately, Space Cadet continued Emma Roberts’ bleak Rotten Tomatoes trend. The movie currently holds a 26% on the Tomatometer and a 38% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Space Cadet may not have received the best reviews, but there are similar films that have better reputations.

Emma-Roberts-Poppy-Liu-in-Space-Cadet-- Related Space Cadet Ending Explained

Space Cadet ended with Rex seeing her hard work, passion, and determination pay off in an unrealistic sequence that still had viewers rooting for her.

10 Legally Blonde (2001)

A Feminist Comedy About Overcoming Stereotypes

Legally Blonde (2001) Legally Blonde (2001) PG-13 Where to Watch

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Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen, is devastated when her boyfriend breaks up with her to attend Harvard Law School. Determined to win him back, she enrolls at Harvard and soon realizes her true potential as she tackles a high-profile murder case, ultimately proving her intelligence and capability in the legal world​.

Director Robert Luketic Release Date July 13, 2001 Writers Amanda Brown , Karen McCullah Lutz , Kirsten Smith Cast Reese Witherspoon , Luke Wilson , Selma Blair , Matthew Davis , Victor Garber , Jennifer Coolidge Runtime 96 Minutes Sequel(s) Legally Blonde 2: Red , White & Blonde (2003) Expand

Perhaps Space Cadet’s most obvious inspiration is Reese Witherspoon’s 2001 feminist romantic comedy Legally Blonde. Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a sorority girl who decides to follow her ex-boyfriend, Warner, to Harvard Law School after he breaks up with her. As he insultingly told her, he needed to “marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn.” Elle’s personality and appearance didn’t suit his image as a future senator, so she applied to Harvard to prove she could be what Warner wanted and needed.

Eventually, Elle becomes more passionate about law and cares more about winning their case than Warner. Like Rex in Space Cadet, Elle’s peers judge her for not appearing like a “typical” lawyer. Both characters smash the stereotypes with their out-of-the-box thinking that saves the day. They prove they aren’t “dumb blondes,” and Legally Blonde has been lauded as a feminist masterpiece because of this.

Reese-Witherspoon-as-Bradley-Jackson-from-The-Morning-Show Related Amazon’s New Space Comedy Cleverly Pays Tribute To Reese Witherspoon’s Iconic Movie From 23 Years Ago

Emma Roberts stars in Amazon Prime Video’s new space comedy, Space Cadet, which has been compared to an iconic 2001 Reese Witherspoon movie.

9 Wild Child (2008)

An Emma Roberts Cult Classic

Emma Roberts in Wild Child

Another Emma Roberts movie, Wild Child, is a great Space Cadet companion. Roberts made her acting debut at just 10 years old and, not long after, began her rise to fame with the Nickelodeon television series Unfabulous, which aired from 2004 to 2007. Shortly after the sitcom ended, Roberts starred in the British film Wild Child. It may not be one of Emma Roberts’ best movies, but like she did in Space Cadet, she gives a memorable performance.

Wild Child also stars Natasha Richardson as the school’s headmistress. It was her final film before her 2009 death.

Roberts plays Poppy Moore, a rich, spoiled American girl who gets sent to a boarding school in England against her will. Though she initially wants nothing to do with the other students, she eventually embraces them, the school, and a new lifestyle. Though Rex and Poppy start their respective movies in different places, Wild Child and Space Cadet follow the journey of someone seeming out of place and eventually finding where she belongs.

8 Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A Ragtag Group Teams Up To Save The Universe

Guardians of the Galaxy PG-13AdventureActionFantasySci-Fi Where to Watch

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Egotistic loner and “legendary” space pirate Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) falls foul of bounty hunters and his former allies after he steals an orb containing the Power Stone. Chased by Ronan the Accuser, a powerful Kree villain and thrown into an uneasy alliance with a group of similar misfits, he must adapt to his new dynamic or risk everything. He’s joined by gun-toting Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), treelike-alien Groot (Vin Diesel), Thanos’ daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the vengeful Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Can the galaxy’s most infamous a-holes really save the day?

Director James Gunn Release Date July 30, 2014 Writers James Gunn , Nicole Perlman , Dan Abnett , Andy Lanning Cast Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Vin Diesel , Michael Rooker , Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace , Benicio Del Toro , Glenn Close , Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Bradley Cooper , John C. Reilly Runtime 122 Minutes

One of the most popular space comedy movies of the 2010s is Guardians of the Galaxy, the first of the trilogy that ended in 2023. Space Cadet isn’t a traditional space comedy movie, as it mainly takes place on Earth with Rex and her fellow Ascans (astronaut candidates) training to hopefully go to space. Though most of them eventually make it to space, very little time in the 2-hour runtime is set in space.

Despite the different settings, there are some similarities between the movies. The main Guardians character, Peter Quill, shares some of Rex’s charm, though he’s considered more roguish. What best ties the films together are their ensembles. Space Cadet has a unique ensemble of characters, not all of which who get along at first, but they come together by the end. At its core, Guardians of the Galaxy is about a hilarious, beautiful found family.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord Avengers Related Guardians of the Galaxy Movies In Order (Main Movies & Avengers Team-Ups)

The Guardians of the Galaxy starred in their own movie trilogy, but they also teamed up with other characters from different parts of the MCU.

7 Erin Brockovich (2000)

An Underestimated Female Main Character Proves Everyone Wrong

Erin Brockovich (2000) RBiographyDrama Where to Watch

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Director Steven Soderbergh Release Date March 17, 2000 Writers Susannah Grant Cast Julia Roberts , Albert Finney , Aaron Eckhart , David Brisbin , Dawn Didawick , Conchata Ferrell Runtime 131 Minutes

Some have criticized Space Cadet for being too childish, even with its PG-13 rating. Erin Brockovich isn’t a comedy, and with an R-rating, it’s inappropriate for younger Space Cadet viewers. However, as with Legally Blonde, Erin Brockovich is a great companion piece because of its strong, underestimated lead female character. Erin Brockovich is considered one of the best underdog movies, and for good reason.

If you want to have a Roberts family movie marathon, Julia Roberts is Emma Roberts’ aunt.

Erin Brokovich is based on the true story of the legal case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for their role in contaminating the Hinkley, California groundwater. Roberts plays the titular character, and her performance is nothing short of powerful and admirable, earning her an Academy Award. She embodies Erin Brockovich, the driven single mother who convinces her lawyer to give her a job in his office and passionately takes on the Hinkley case, becoming instrumental despite her lack of experience in law.

Julia-Roberts-Erin-Brockovich-changes Related 12 Biggest Changes Julia Roberts’ Erin Brockovich Makes To The True Story

Julia Roberts’ Erin Brockovich is a powerful film focused on one lawyer’s pursuit of justice, but the movie takes a lot of creative license.

6 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005)

A Classic Sci-Fi Comedy About The Only Man Who Survived Earth’s Destruction

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy PGAdventureComedySci-Fi Where to Watch

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Director Garth Jennings Release Date April 29, 2005 Cast Bill Bailey , Martin Freeman , Yasiin Bey , Sam Rockwell , Zooey Deschanel , Bill Nighy Runtime 109 Minutes

As aforementioned, Space Cadet is an untraditional space comedy as it isn’t really set in space. Space Cadet might fit better in the astronaut movie subgenre, but most of those movies are drama films, many of which are about real-life astronauts, like First Man and Apollo 13. There is no doubt that Space Cadet is more comedy than drama, just like the 2005 sci-fi space movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which stars Martin Freeman as Arthur Den.

While trying to stop his house from being bulldozed, Arthur is saved by his friend, Ford Prefect. He learns Ford is actually an alien and that he was the only human who survived Earth’s destruction. With Ford and others, he travels the universe to find the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Like Space Cadet, Hitchhiker’s Guide has its issues, with the film widely considered confusing. Still, it’s seen as a rite of passage for many sci-fi comedy fans.

5 Miss Congeniality (2000)

A Sandra Bullock Classic With A Strong Female Lead

Miss Congeniality_movie_poster Miss Congeniality (2000) PG-13

Miss Congeniality is a 2000 comedy starring Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who goes undercover as a beauty pageant contestant to prevent a potential terrorist attack. Directed by Donald Petrie, the film features Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, and Candice Bergen. Gracie’s initial contempt for the pageant world evolves as she bonds with the contestants, balancing her tough persona with newfound grace.

Director Donald Petrie Release Date December 22, 2000 Writers Katie Ford , Marc Lawrence , Caryn Lucas Cast Sandra Bullock , Benjamin Bratt , Michael Caine , Candice Bergen , William Shatner Runtime 109 Minutes

Miss Congeniality kicked off the 2000s as one of the decade’s best romantic comedies. The movie stars Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who is asked to go undercover as a Miss United States contestant when a terrorist threatens to bomb the pageant. As a tomboy, Gracie feels like a fish out of water in the world of beauty pageants. Though she’s initially reluctant, Gracie winds up becoming friends with other contestants.

Space Cadet and Miss Congeniality can be categorized as “chick flicks,” and both movies feature a strong central female character who doesn’t get the respect she deserves. Miss Congeniality offers one of Sandra Bullock’s most popular performances, and despite average reviews, it was a box office hit that earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination. Like Space Cadet, Miss Congeniality also features a great romantic subplot.

4 Accepted (2006)

A Bad Lie Turns Into Something Great

Accepted (2006) - Poster Accepted (2006) PG-13Comedy Where to Watch

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Accepted follows Bartleby Gaines, a high school graduate who, after facing multiple college rejection letters, creates a fake university to gain parental approval. Without anticipating the consequences, Bartleby ends up managing a populated campus with a diverse group of students who were also rejected from traditional colleges, leading to unexpected challenges and adventures. Starring Justin Long, the film delves into themes of alternative education and individuality.

Director Steve Pink Release Date August 18, 2006 Writers Mark Perez , Bill Collage , Adam Cooper Cast Justin Long , Jonah Hill , Blake Lively , Adam Herschman , Columbus Short Runtime 93 Minutes

While Rex is smart and driven enough to be an astronaut, her friend Nadine completely made up her resume, which got her accepted into NASA’s training program in Space Cadet. When Rex learns this, rather than coming clean, she decides to go along with the lie and see how far it can take her–hopefully all the way to space. In Accepted, Justin Long plays Bartleby Gaines, an unconventionally smart recent high school graduate who gets rejected from every college he applies to.

To avoid disappointing his father, Bartleby creates a fake college, South Harmon Institute of Technology (SHIT), with a functional website. Bartleby goes to great lengths to keep up his lie, which only gets worse when other rejected students start enrolling. What starts as a way to avoid telling his father the truth becomes a positive educational experience that allows Bartleby and the other students to find where and how they belong.

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3 She’s The Man (2006)

A Rom-Com About A Woman Willing To Do Anything For Her Dreams

She’s the Man PG-13ComedyRomanceSports Where to Watch

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She’s the Man is a teen comedy directed by Andy Fickman. The film stars Amanda Bynes as Viola Hastings, who disguises herself as her twin brother Sebastian to join a boys’ soccer team, navigating teenage romance and identity. Co-starring Channing Tatum, the storyline is loosely inspired by William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, blending humor and sports in a high school setting.

Director Andy Fickman Release Date March 17, 2006 Writers Ewan Leslie , Karen McCullah Lutz , Kirsten Smith Cast Amanda Bynes , Channing Tatum , Laura Ramsey , Vinnie Jones , David Cross , Julie Hagerty Runtime 105 Minutes

She’s the Man is a teen movie adapted from the Shakespeare playTwelfth Night. Amanda Bynes plays Viola Hastings, a high school soccer player who dreams of playing in college. When her school cuts the girls’ team, she and some of her teammates try to join the boys’ team, but the coach won’t let them. When her twin brother, Sebastian, is enrolled in an elite boarding school and secretly goes to London instead, Viola sees an opportunity. She pretends to be Sebastian, attending Illyria in his place and playing for their boys’ soccer team.

She’s the Man
was Channing Tatum’s first major film role. The movie’s release was followed a few months later by
Step Up
, which was a much bigger box-office success.

Part of the thrill of movies like Space Cadet and She’s the Man is knowing the main character will eventually get caught in their lie, leaving viewers waiting for the fallout. This keeps viewers on their toes, with multiple close calls that fill viewers with relief, anxiety, and excitement. Like Space Cadet, She’s the Man is ultimately about someone whose dreams weren’t taken seriously and who went to great lengths to achieve them.

Viola Hastings from She's the Man Related 10 Best Quotes From She’s The Man

She’s the Man is one of the signature rom-coms of the 2000s, and its dialogue is full of wisdom, but what are the best lines from the iconic movie?

2 The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

A Woman Finds Her Place In An Unlikely Industry

The Devil Wears Prada Movie Poster The Devil Wears Prada PG-13ComedyDrama Where to Watch

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Based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel, The Devil Wears Prada stars Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs, an aspiring journalist who, after landing a job with top New York fashion designer Miranda Priestly, gets drawn deeper and deeper into the cutthroat world of the fashion industry. Meryl Streep stars alongside Hathaway as Miranda Priestly, with a further cast that includes Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, and Simon Baker. 

Director David Frankel Release Date June 30, 2006 Writers Aline Brosh McKenna , Lauren Weisberger Cast Anne Hathaway , Stanley Tucci , Meryl Streep , Adrian Grenier , Emily Blunt , Simon Baker , Tracie Thoms , Rich Sommer Runtime 109 Minutes

One of the most popular comedy-drama movies of the 2000s is The Devil Wears Prada, based on the 2003 novel of the same name. The 2006 movie has a star-studded cast that includes Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt, and Gisele Bündchen, as well as cameos from famous figures in fashion. Hathaway plays Andrea “Andy” Sachs, a journalist who begrudgingly takes a job at Vogue-inspired Runway, where she becomes the junior personal assistant to the cold editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Streep).

The Devil Wears Prada has been deemed one of Anne Hathaway’s best movies, with everyone in the cast bringing their A-game. Though Space Cadet’s Rex and The Devil Wears Prada’s Andy may appear opposites, viewers can watch them both try to find out how to fit in and thrive in uncharted territories. Space Cadet and The Devil Wears Prada also share lessons about the opportunity to change while remembering the importance of staying true to yourself.

A composite image of Anne Hathaway looking on with Meryl Streep staring at someone and Emily Blunt looking shocked in The Devil Wears Prada Related The Devil Wears Prada 2 Has A Big Anne Hathaway Problem

The news of The Devil Wears Prada 2 is incredibly exciting, but the movie already has a lot to overcome, including a major Anne Hathaway problem.

1 Galaxy Quest (1999)

A Sci-Fi Film About Fake Space Explorers

Galaxy Quest PGComedyAdventure Sci-Fi Where to Watch

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An homage to classic science fiction and its fandom, Galaxy Quest follows a group of actors from a fictional cult classic sci-fi series who are unwittingly embroiled in a real space conflict when aliens who believe the series is real abduct them and ask for their help defeating a tyrant threatening their people. Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Daryl Mitchell, and Sam Rockwell, the film features many references and parodies of classic sci-fi films and shows, mainly Star Trek. 

Director Dean Parisot Release Date December 25, 1999 Writers Robert Gordon , David Howard Cast Daryl Mitchell , Sam Rockwell , Sigourney Weaver , Tim Allen , Tony Shalhoub , Alan Rickman Runtime 102 minutes

The 1999 sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest revolves around a fictional show of the same name and its actors who get roped into an actual space mission by aliens. The fictional 1970s show is a parody and tribute to sci-fi movies and series, most notably Star Trek, with the soap opera-esque series having inspired a cult following. The actors get involved in a real quest when aliens mistake their show for a documentary, creating great comedy.

The premise may seem ridiculous, but the film was met positively by critics and audiences. The movie’s star-studded cast, featuring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell, were lauded for their performances. Now, 25 years later, there’s talk about a potential Galaxy Quest 2. Space Cadet had some ridiculous sci-fi space aspects to it, especially with its ending, and Galaxy Quest executes and parodies those kinds of plots on a higher level.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Space Cadet (2024) - Poster Space Cadet (2024) PG-13ComedyRomance

A young woman with no formal training unexpectedly finds herself in a space program after a series of fortunate events. As she navigates rigorous training and high-stakes challenges, she must prove her capabilities to skeptical teammates and instructors.

Director Liz W. Garcia Release Date July 4, 2024 Writers Liz W. Garcia Cast Emma Roberts , Tom Hopper , Poppy Liu , Gabrielle Union , Kuhoo Verma , Desi Lydic , Sebastián Yatra , Sam Robards Runtime 110 Minutes See at Prime Video

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