The lives of three young people - a rich student, a girl from the "wrong side of the tracks" and her boyfriend - unexpectedly intersect during one fateful summer in the romantic drama "Here on Earth." Kelley Morse (Chris Klein), who is cocky and brash, normally would never have crossed paths with the residents of a small town near his posh private school. But when he takes his shiny new Mercedes out for a drive, he locks horns with some of the locals, including Jasper (Josh Hartnett). As Jasper's willful girlfriend Samantha (Leelee Sobieski) looks on, Kelley and Jasper engage in a dangerous car race that turns disastrous, leaving a popular diner owned by Samantha's mother in ruins. Kelley and Jasper are sentenced to a creatively ironic but fitting punishment: They must help rebuild the diner. Not only does this ruin Kelley's summer plans, he also must board at the home of his rival, Jasper. Kelley begins to fulfill his "sentence," but refuses to have anything to do with Jasper and his... Written by
Not great, but not a "bad" movie that so many say it is.
OK, it was my weekly "free" rental, so it didn't have to be great. But I cannot understand all the highly negative criticism of "Here on Earth." It has a very true theme, everyone deserves to find true love before they die. However, it plays more like a "made-for-TV" teen romance than a theater blockbuster. But it is better than many of the "teem movies" made recently.
Sam (Leelee Sobieski) is a small town girl whose big plans to go to UM on a track scholarship got waylayed by a knee injury. She has a boyfriend Jas (Josh Hartnett) that she has known forever, he loves her ("I know you better than anyone, Sam."), but we can see there isn't the passion one expects of true love.
Along comes Kelley (Chris Klein), the smart (valedictorian) rich kid who is stuck on himself, the last person Sam's sister and parents want her to get mixed up with. But there is a spark of passion there, Sam starts to feel for the first time she might find true love. You see, she has a secret. The knee injury has affected her liver and she is on a fast path to death.
Kelley and Jas are like two elk competing for the one fertile female at springtime. Verbal and physical challenges, an ill-advised car chase results in a crash into gas pumps and burning down the local hangout. Both of their sentences require them to work all summer to rebuild the restaurant. Kelley stays in the garage apt.
When the summer is over, the restaurant rebuilt, Sam has been laid, Jas is no longer Sam's girlfriend, Kelley just boards the bus and leaves without visiting the dying Sam. He has things to attend to, a life to get on with. However, back at home he has second thoughts, sees yellow roses planted by his deceased mum, and goes back to be with Sam. At her funeral, he reads from poetry they both enjoyed. She found true love before she died, he learned about what is really important.
The story is not novel, but it still is a pretty good one. Josh Hartnett is excellent as the unpolished bumpkin, Leelee as the philosophical girl looking for meaning in her short life. But Chris Klein looks out of his league. He still has a way to go before he can graduate from his teen gross-out roles in films like "American Pie."
I never felt totally immersed in the film, because some of the acting and some of the dialog didn't quite ring true. However I found it to be a pleasant 90 minutes and it probably deserves a rating somewhere around 5 to 7, which is where the IMDb votes cluster presently. To rate it a "1" as so many have, or to call it "possibly the worst movie of all time" are just absurd.
The DVD was fine, with Dolby 5.1 sound, but the extras consist primarily of several trailers for other films put out by this company.
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