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Movie Review

On the Line

MPAA Rating: PG for language and some crude humor

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Preteens and Teens
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
2001
USA Release:
October 26, 2001
Relevant Issues
Lance Bass and Emmanuelle Chriqui in “On the Line”
Featuring: Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Bulliard, Amanda Foreman
Director: Eric Bross
Producer: Peter Abrams, Robert Levy, Wendy Thorlakson, Richard Hull
Distributor: Miramax

The group ’N Sync has enjoyed a great deal of popularity. They have sold lots of records and sing before sold out audiences. It is no surprise that all this adoration has led to a movie. Personally, I think all the fans that never make it into a stadium or concert venue would enjoy seeing a concert on the big screen. It certainly would be cheaper and more enjoyable to watch. Hollywood always has another agenda to exploit youthful idolization. “On the Line” uses two of the group’s members in lead and supporting roles. It is obvious why the lead was given to Lance Bass. He is the most popular ’N Sync-er. Lance has 517 fan sites on Yahoo alone. I am not sure why Joey Fatone was picked for his best friend—unless he was the one that had the best screen test. The best part of the movie is that it is only 85 minutes long (ouch!).

“On the Line” is the “knock-off” version of the much better film “Serendipity”. Miramax is hoping that we are blind to the fact that they released both of these date-flics. “Serendipity” was a story of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-tries-desperately-to-find girl. “On the Line” is a story of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-tries-desperately-to-find girl (Wow! I love it when I can cut-and-paste). Did you notice any similarities? Duh! Both used the same cookie-cutters—just a slightly different recipe. This time Lance tries to convince us that he is the “every-man” that guys can relate to. Sorry Lance, John Cusack has you beat in that department.

While riding the L in Chicago, Kevin Gibbons (Lance Bass) meets Abbey (Emmanuelle Chriqui). She is cute, pleasant, and can recite all the American presidents in order (always a criteria for considering someone for marriage). Kevin freezes (again!) and misses his bachelor opportunity to ask her for the all important phone number. While Kevin is kicking himself over the girl that got away, his roommates begin to coach him on how to find her. This is where another ’N-Syncer gets to help the plot along. Rod (Joey Fatone) encourages Kevin to use his experience in advertising (how convenient!) to get her back. It isn’t long before the flyers plastered all over town make page-one news. The phone calls also provide dating occasions for his friend Rod. Will Kevin ever find the girl of his dreams? Will Abbey ever give him her phone number? Can Al Green rescue us all from boredom? I think you already know the answers to these questions.

The film is right “On the Line” for its PG rating, with its share of profanity (much of which has been dubbed over). This makes me wonder what the expanded DVD version will be like. My guess is that they will package this loser with the groups next release or sell it for $1.99 at Burger King.

There is plenty of crude humor in “OTL”; why do studios think that teens love scenes with lots of farting?! Enough already! The soundtrack does contain some sexually related lyrics (“Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on…” or “Pour your sugar on me. Oh, I can’t get enough. I’m hot, sticky sweet. From my head to my feet…”) and it is a cheap package to give to their fans.

My very strong recommendation is to skip this one now and later. I know my 10-year-old ’N Sync fan was a little disappointed that he did not get to see the film. I do recommend the new Christian Web site eharmony.com. It gives some great guidelines for singles on that quest for a mate. Their goal is to reduce the divorce rate by 10% over the next 5 years by helping compatible Christians expand their pool of choices. They offer a spiritual alternative to the Hollywood notion of fate and chance.


Viewer Comments
Positive—I went to the theaters with my mother to see this movie and her and I really enjoyed it, Lance and Joey did a very good job and I thought it was also funny! I really liked this movie and if I have the chance I will watch it again! And May God bless Lance and Joey along with the other *Nsync members!
My Ratings: [5]
—Nina Lopez, age 14
Neutral—Well, it wasn’t a bad movie in terms of morale… but I found it quite boring actually. What I must say though… for a movie debut, Lance and Joey were not too bad as actors. There were some negative sights in the movie… but compared to other movies in the market right now… it’s considered good…
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—Grace, age 17
Positive—This movie is a very positive movie. I don’t see why it’s rated PG-13, it should be rated G. There was only one swear word, and the word wasn’t a terrible word. You could hardly hear it. Think people should give Nsync a chance. They just need someone to pray for them, and they’ll be “perfect”. it’s a good movie for everyone.
My Ratings: [4]
—Candace, age 14
Positive—On the Line is a great movie! I think the review was a bit harsh (not to mention very sarcastic)…I mean look at most at most teen movies today. I don’t think people are giving this movie a chance just because NSYNC stars in it. On the Line was very clean compared to movies like American Pie etc. There’s only one swear word and they never said the Lord’s name in vain. I thought the movie was cute, although I do admit the plot is a bit unoriginal. I saw this movie with a friend, and there was about ten other people in the movie theater… none of them were teenagers. They were middle aged men and women. And, I found throughout the movie they were laughing more than I was. They clearly enjoyed as much as I did. Overall, this is a positive and fun movie for teens, and I don’t think you have to be an NSYNC fan to enjoy it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Elivia, age 13