Two of Hollywood’s rising young stars team up in this story of two teens from different social backgrounds brought together by a twist of fate. Kelly Morse (Chris Klein) just graduated valedictorian from his prep school in Boston and is heir apparent to his father’s huge corporation. Everything is right on schedule until Kelly gets into a fight, which leads to a small town restaurant burning down. For his sentence, Kelly must help rebuild the restaurant and stay with the family of the guy he was fighting, Jasper Arnold (Josh Harnett). Along the way he meets Samantha (LeeLee Sobieski), a local girl who only knows life in a small town and is intrigued by Kelly’s high society lifestyle. Samantha just happens to be Jasper’s girlfriend. Now Samantha must choose between the life she has become comfortable with and a new exciting life.
This story has been done many times before, and aside from the ending it really shows us nothing new. The young actors are on the brink of developing good chemistry all through the movie, but a slow-moving story stops this from ever really happening. Perhaps the most impressive performance comes from Josh Harnett, playing Samantha’s lifelong boyfriend. While the script does not focus enough on his role, the scenes that he is in hold the most interest for the viewer. Watch for him in other films. On the other hand, Chris Klein is a little too dramatic; you get the impression he’s trying to hard. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have talent, I’m just saying that he needs a director who can spot his flaws and correct them. I couldn’t help but be reminded of William Shatner and his now famous overacting. LeeLee Sobieski is a near mirror image of Helen Hunt, but don’t hold that against her. She is a good young actress who has the ability to stretch. She was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as Joan of Arc in the highly acclaimed miniseries by the same name. She has also had roles in the recent movies Never Been Kissed and Eyes Wide Shut. Her acting seems a little forced, but again, good directing can fix that.
Even with a slow-moving story and average acting, Here On Earth is a good movie for all you ladies out there to drag your boyfriends to. The movie is filled with romantic scenes, which are sure to draw a tear or a heartfelt sigh. Add a splash of humor here and there and a semi-shocking ending, and you get a not-all- together bad movie.