Projections - Movie Reviews

Here on Earth Here on Earth

Here on Earth boasts some talented younger performers in Chris Klein who plays Kelley, Leelee Sobieski as Samantha, and Josh Harnett as Jaspar, who appear to be on the rise having not been drawn into standard cynical youth pictures.  Klein and Sobieski display a range well beyond their age and experience.  Here, though, the film makers and especially the script essentially grab this threesome by the throat, and the core of this adolescent romance is so tame and predictable that its emotional payoff is an afterthought.  A chance to make something dramatic or poignant is attempted to be conveyed by the strength of these young actors, but it is never destined for Here on Earth.

From the opening frames, it's evident that the film makers are going after teen fans, especially those who listen to the Goo Goo Dolls.  Yet, the current sound on the screen gives way to an intentionally felt retro picture that underlines a more serious nature on the horizon.

A story of families, friendship, and first love is set in motion through Klein's wealthy, cold-natured peppy valedictorian of a posh, private boy's school somewhere in Western Massachusetts.  His gift at graduation is a Mercedes convertible given by his absent father.  When challenged by Jaspar, a local, Kelley enters into a chase which results in the destruction of the family diner and gas station owned by Samantha's family.

The punishment given the two responsible drivers forces them to work together for a summer rebuilding the business and results in a love triangle with both guys perusing Samantha.  The evolution of love and friendship between the three is eventually halted by a sports knee injury to Samantha which has sudden ominous overtones.

The entire cast performs extraordinarily well and the ideas put forward deal with these young characters as passionate, real and very decent folks who are at cross roads in their lives, they deserved more from the script and director Mark Piznarski.

Here on Earth

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