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Brandon Jay McLaren,
John, a computer whiz on the rebound from a disastrous break-up, starts an adult Internet site with his roommate, Moe. They are soon caught up in the erotic nature of the chat sessions they host, changing both their lives. Written by
Fantasy, Reality, and the Spaces In Between: Looking for Love on the Internet
Like it or not the computer has changed our lives in ways far beyond business, data storage, ease of trafficking information, etc. The concept of Internet dating may not be new but it has rarely been so successfully investigated as well as Jed Weintrob's ON_LINE. And whether or not the viewer has ever participated in streaming video chat rooms or utilized the many internet on line sex spots, this small, low budget film will be an eye opener.
Recently dumped John Roth (Josh Hamilton) and his roommate Moe Curley (Harold Perrineau) out of frustration have started an internet dating/chat site/erotic exchange business. John rarely leaves his apartment/business, electing to spend his entire day and night online watching the beautiful Angel (Liz Owens) going about her daily duties of grooming, dressing and undressing and sleeping. John has an online buddy Moira (Isabel Gillies) who acts somewhat as a mentor for lonely people like young Ohio gay lad Ed Simone (Eric Millegan) who dials up another online sex provider, older Al Fleming (John Fleck), in an attempt to have some semblance of a non-closeted life. Moe attempts to get John out into the real dating world and arranges a meeting with the beautiful but sexually frustrated Jordan Nash (Vanessa Ferlito) but the two find relating easier on the internet than in real life. These people all interact both online and in life in a way that begins to blur what is reality. The concept is one of the dichotomies of fantasy and reality, desire/need and acting out, isolated loneliness versus stepping into the physical world and joining the dance of courtship.
The beauty of the film is in the production, and if awards were bestowed on creativity this little movie with its split screens, streaming videos, computer video cameras, and the station they all are relegated to in the space of a room, would be at the top of the list. The actors are all very fine, creating believable characters out of very little face-to-face interaction. ON_LINE has a lot to say about our current state of human relationships and interacting and it says it without being dark and cruel but instead with a lot of light comedy that serves to make the story relatedly credible. For the subject about of sex acts, it remains suggestive with being graphic: it walks a thin line very successfully. Grady Harp
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