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On the Line

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: On the Line

Starring: Lance Boss, Joey Fatone
Director: Eric Boss
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: October 2001
Genre: Romance

*Also starring: Amanda Foreman, Tamala Jones, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Bulliard, Kristin Booth, Dave Foley, Jerry Stiller

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Keep your day job. In ON THE LINE, NSYNC's James Lance Bass stars as Kevin Gibbons, "a poster boy for the romantically challenged." With wide-eyed innocence and without a visible smidgen of acting talent, Bass smiles his way through the movie.

Actually, Bass's performance seems a bit better when compared to the lame supporting cast, which also includes another NSYNCer, Joey Fatone. The worst of the lot is Jerry Stiller, who plays a senile mail room clerk named Nathan. Typical of Nathan's lines is his response to the canonical question of how he is doing. "I haven't had a decent bowel movement since the Reagan administration," is part of his rambling response. Kevin lives with a bunch of obnoxious roommates who possess the social skills of flatulent 4-year-olds.

After playing for a boy band in high school, Kevin gives up on a musical career in favor of a life in an office filled with candy colored computers. The movie, which plays like an after school television show, uses product placements instead of commercial breaks.

The SERENDIPITY-like plot involves Kevin's quest to find his lost love. One day on the Chicago L, he meets an architecture student who flirts incessantly with him. Kevin, whom his roomies call "the guy who always chokes," never asks for her name or number, even though he is completely smitten.

The girl on the L is played by a real cutie named Emmanuelle Chriqui. A dead ringer in looks and voice for a young Demi Moore, Chriqui is given little opportunity to show that she can do anything other than look sweet.

After plastering the city with posters to try to locate her, Kevin becomes the toast of the town, and his phone begins ringing off the hook. The worst piece of acting in the movie occurs when Kevin finally spots his long lost love. Seeing her across the train tracks at a noisy station, all he can muster is a wimpy, "Hello, it's me," spoken roughly at library level. Not only does she not hear him, the guy standing next to him probably couldn't hear him either.

Is there anything to recommend the film? Well, Bass's young female fans get to see him naked. Okay, the camera only records this from the waist up, but it is the only reason I can think of that anyone would want to see the movie.

ON THE LINE runs a long 1:26. It is rated PG for "language and some crude humor" and would be acceptable for kids of any age.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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