Here on Earth (2000)
The story is nothing groundbreaking: new guy arrives in town, sweeps girl off her feet because he’s “different” than the rest, earns ire from mean boyfriend, and eventually gets the girl. It’s been the plot from everything from Lady and the Tramp to Edward Scissorhands. But even though the theme is based in predictability, the creators of ‘Here on Earth’ seem to have lazily put forth an execution.
The movie and its screenwriter have their logic completely reversed. The girl’s boyfriend is supposed to be the wife-beating snotty jerk, and the new kid is supposed to be the nice sensitive “different” guy. But in Earth, Klein is the snotty Richy Rich whose colors never change, and Josh Hartnett is the dependable and established nice guy boyfriend. The structure of this tragic tale is no way to build drama, only contempt for the female lead.
Whatever high-minded message Earth is hopelessly aiming for is destroyed by dialogue so cheesy that it could be considered a side dish at a local Taco Bell. By the time Klein starts naming Leelee’s breasts after different states in the Union the movie loses what little credibility it had or thought it did (“Massachusetts welcomes you”). It’s a wonder most of these young actors can even say what they do with a straight face.
Spoilers follow as I make fun of this movie. Just when you’re wondering why the hell Leelee is doing the things she does and it looks as if we may reach a conclusion or insight – BAM! – she has cancer and dies. This ranks up with “it was all just a dream” as one of the cheapest ways to sneak out of an uncomfortable or unexplained position. It turns out our Joan of Arc bumped her knee and somehow that has exploded into unstoppable cancer. The doctor tells the distraught family members that they always suspected this could happen. Like hell! Every time I stub my damn toe it never crosses my mind I’ve contracted cancer.
Here on Earth is supposed to be the tearjerker for the teen audience out there; the Love Story for the under twenty. But the only thing wringing from this formulaic clunker of a sob story is a healthy outpouring of sap, moral high ground, and a warning to always wear knee pads.
Nate’s Grade: C-
Posted on April 20, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged bruce greenwood, cancer, chris klein, doomed romance, drama, josh hartnett, leelee sobieski, michael rooker. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.