After my scathing review of the sappy Brokedown Palace, I attracted the attention of a 14-year-old AOL troll who, among other things, took umbrage with my dismissal of that piece of celluloid as MTV-esque in its lack of depth or sensible storyline.
Man, she'll be chompin' at the bit after this one...
THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
A lookalike movie (Doc Hollywood without the humor, An Officer And A Gentlemen without the smarts) with lookalike actors (Leelee Sobieski looks like a young Helen Hunt, Chris Klein looks a bit like Keanu Reeves, and in the right light, Josh Hartnett looks like Tommy Lee Jones, pre-wrinkles), this flick soaks in the deep-fry vat of stupidity. Here On Earth (or HOE, as I like to call it) simplistically recounts a mindnumbingly dumb "love triangle" between Kelley Morse (Klein), a spoiled little rich boy doing court-ordered community service rebuilding a diner he and "farmboy" Jasper Arnold (Harnett) trashed during a testosterone-driven drag race through Jasper's small town, and hometown girl Samantha "Sam" Cavanaugh (Sobieski), the object of Jasper's affection and Kelley's mapmaking tutorial.
Throw in a completely unnecessary (and just as completely unsuccessful) ploy to Pull At The Heartstrings with a subplot you could smell from a country mile away, and you'll understand Bammer's 5 Second Review of Here On Earth: "Yuck".
You Know Your Movie Sucked When...the only thing interesting about it was the geography fetish the writer seemed to have. Bad enough that Richie Rich and Miss Thang had sex to a bad recital of various states; worse yet was Seitzman's inability to keep track of whether his story was set in Massachusetts, New York, or Toledo, Ohio. More proof that public schools are failing our Youth; get thee back to Remedial Geography, sir!
This one went south (one of the few geographical directions that Kelley didn't head) rather quickly, when Seitzman and Piznarski chose to make the Kelley character a total jackass from start to finish, without giving him even the hint of a redeeming characteristic (even his Obligatory Half-Nekkid scenes felt too slimy to be sexy) or reason to root for him. Sam's attraction to Kelley made absolutely no sense in that, or any other, context; to say that it seemed to come from way far out of left field, would be a gross understatement. And because she, in turn, stepped all over poor loyal Jasper in her eagerness to play Name That State with Kelley, she sank right into the quagmire with Richie Rich; instead of coming across as Innocence, Awakened, she more closely resembled Ho', Golddigging. Of the three lead characters, only Jasper had my sympathies - and he came off looking like a damfool, for letting his long-time girlfriend use him like a doormat (even after they'd broken up, no less).
There's little use in talking about the other characters - all there to support the losing cause of propping up the lamebrained main- and sub-plots; or how the cinematographer tried to capture the essence of Small Town U.S.A. - so nicely done that all it did was remind me of how bad the humans looked within it. If the storyline, as foundation, is shaky, the rest of the "house" is doomed to crumble; and HOE was standing on some seriously shaky ground.
The last time I felt this mad after having watched a movie was in January of this year. The target of my anger? You remember a lil' something called Supernova, no?
THE "BLACK FACTOR"   [ObDisclaimer: We Are Not A Monolith]
And now that I've offended the sensibilities of the MTV Generation, let's see if this application of the BF Brush winds up alienating me from My People...
As I sat in the theater watching HOE, I kept pinching myself to make sure I hadn't nodded off and missed the part that explained why Sweet Smalltown-girl Sam would go for a stuck-up cretin like Kelley. Clearly, Sam suffered from the same sicknesses that far too many Black women in America suffer from: the "No Good Black Men Left" fever and the "...So I'll Take This No-Good One" flu. I could easily see the three main characters being Black, without skipping a beat: my mind's eye saw Charlie, faithful sturdy 9-to-5'er with a mortgage and a receding hairline, supporting LaShaun, a simple city girl who hangs tough with him - until Slick Maurice rolls up to the curb with his Lexus and his Rolex; then it's Goodbye Charlie...
Hey, dog me out for that stretch of the imagination if you will, but at least my version entertained me for a minute or two.
BAMMER'S BOTTOM LINE
Is it Just Me, or have most of the movies so far this year been bloody awful? Maybe it's another ill effect of La Nina. Here's to hoping the Bad Weather surrounding these writers, directors, and actors, will clear up soon.
HERE ON EARTH:
back to top