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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
This film is a genuine five-hanky tearjerker that slathers on the schmaltz thick as marmalade. The story begins with a rivalry between a group of prep school boys and local townies that have a reckless car race that ends up burning down a local diner and gas station. The judge sentences the two drivers to a summer of community service rebuilding the diner. Kelley (Chris Klein) is a spoiled rich boy with attitude. Jasper (Josh Hartnett) is a local hick with a good heart and a bad temper. Needless to say, the two boys hate each other. To complicate matters, Jasper's girlfriend Samantha (Leelee Sobieski) is developing a serious case of the hots for Kelley. They begin an affair complete with dewy looks, running through fields, stolen glances and every other schmaltzy film technique ever invented.
The prep/townie rivalry escalates into a love triangle with all the foreseeable showdowns and confrontations. Just when everyone is working themselves into a good lather it is discovered that Samantha is seriously ill. Pass the Kleenex.
The film has some very sweet moments but the story is far too formulaic and predictable. It has the feel of a TV movie, which is not surprising since director Mark Piznarski has mostly TV projects on his resume. To his credit, the cinematography was beautiful and his choice of locations was superb. The overlook scenes were particularly lovely.
Chris Klein gave an adequate performance, but was not very dynamic and a little stiff. I felt that he was much better in `American Pie' playing a more sincere character. He seems like too nice a guy to play this spoiled and arrogant rich kid. Leelee Sobieski was a good choice for Samantha. She comes across as very vulnerable and sweet. She was adept at capturing the delicate teenage balance between tentativeness and determination. I actually liked Josh Hartnett better than I did Klein. Perhaps he was better suited for his character, but he seemed a lot more believable as Jasper.
This is a great chick flick. It is sentimental, romantic, endearing and sad. Guys are likely to spend most of the movie writhing in their seats. Unfortunately, it wasn't very original and suffered from too many clichés. I rated it a 6/10. Add one or two points if you like sentimental romances and another if you like a movie that makes you cry. A good film for girls' night out.
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