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World’s Worst Chick Flick Part 21: Here on Earth

June 14, 2011

First things first, prepare for a big spoiler from this review, because there’s no real way around it if I’m going to give Here on Earth the full Taking Back Tiffany treatment.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’ll start by asking this: Who knew a love triangle could be so boring? Seriously, I feel like I just watched a movie in which Keanu Reeves played all three of the main characters. Except I know this can’t be true because each of these actors has been in other things, and yet they have each perfected the Keanu Reeves style of monotone acting.

Leelee Sobieski plays Sam, a small-town girl dating Josh Hartnett’s character, Jasper. Jasper is also a small-town kid and they hang out with small-town friends. Nearby is a swanky boarding school, where Chris Klein’s character (Kelley) is about to graduate high school. One night Kelley goes to Sam’s family’s diner and gets in a fight with Jasper. The fight ends with them drag racing around town and setting the diner on fire.

And people say small towns are boring!

Their punishment for this crime is to help rebuild the diner. In the process, Sam falls for Kelley. I’m not sure why exactly, except that he’s something new and shiny and there’s a scene where he walks around the construction site shirtless.

I guess I can’t expect a 17-year-old high schooler to look for things like “has a personality” or “doesn’t start fights with people just for kicks” in a boyfriend.

So Sam cheats on Jasper with Kelley, but then soon comes clean. Jasper is disappointing at this point. He gets sad and tries to tell her it’s just a fling and what they (Sam and Jasper) have is real. Jasper convinces her to go to the Fourth of July dance with her, where they have a grand old time until Kelley shows up drunk.

Oh, and by the way, Kelley gets drunk after having one beer. Riiiight. The guy is 6’1” and gets tipsy enough to dance for a herd of cows after one beer. Clearly we’re not watching something based on actual events.

Eventually, Sam dumps Jasper all together and runs off to Boston with Kelley for a weekend, where we find out that Sam’s mom committed suicide. I guess this bit of information is supposed to do two things: Make us realize that his character has some depth, and offer up a reason (excuse) for why he was a jerk. Here’s how that plays out in a mathematical formula kind of way.

Absent father + Dead mom = Jerk

Jerk + Girl next door = Not a jerk anymore

But something sinister is lurking in Sam’s life and it has something to do with a knee injury. Except it’s no longer just a broken knee cap, but apparently she has cancer that has spread to her liver.

Wait, whaaaaa? Did we just accidentally start watching a Nicholas Sparks movie?

Sam has cancer and Kelley freaks out and goes home because he’s about to lose another woman he loves. But then Jasper—who basically just gave up the love of his life without a fight—yells at him about how much Sam needs him, so he comes back after thinking long and hard about whatever it is forlorn teenagers think about. The scene where Kelley comes back is painfully dramatic. Mainly what’s dramatic is the smoldering look Kelley gives Sam. If you watch this movie for any reason, please let it be the look he gives Sam, after what I’m sure was hours of practice in front of a mirror.

This movie was painful to watch and the characters had about as much depth as a kiddie pool and about as much personality as a stuffed animal. We’re supposed to see Sam and Kelley’s as full of conflict, except no one does a whole lot of fighting about them. And then they’re supposed to be ill-fated tragic lovers, except not a whole lot happens and then we’re suddenly at Sam’s funeral and we’re supposed to be sad about it. All I felt was relief that this movie was almost over, so I wouldn’t have to see Chris Klein practice any more of his smoldering looks.

You know what would have made this movie better? Besides not making it at all? If the drag race had come at the end and one of the guys had died in the race. Now that would have been dramatic. Sam would have spent the rest of her life feeling guilty, while Kelley or Jasper (whichever one survived) spent the rest of his life trying to drink away the memory of that race.

BAM. I just wrote a Nicholas Sparks book.Here on Earth

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Schniff Schnaff Shalomie permalink
    June 14, 2011 9:36 pm

    Well played on the Sparks “Whhhaaaa?”

    Also, I believe you meant Kelley’s mom, not Sam’s mom, committed suicide. But surely they know referring to the female lead as “Sam” will cause confusion here and there.

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