Indiana Daily Student

The line to hell much less painful

First take the "L" train to "Bad Acting" street. Then take an express to major suspension of disbelief. Finally, ride the line for grossly ridiculous plot points and self-egrandizing 'N Sync moments. If you can do all of these things and still retain your enthusiasm, then maybe "On the Line" is the movie for you. If not, then please do not subject yourself to what is by far the worst product a boy band has put on the market. \nThe so-called "'N Sync movie" stars band members Joey Fatone and Lance Bass. Bass' production company, A Happy Place, produced this movie, and he's listed as executive producer. \nIt's really sad that this movie is so bad, because the premise is actually rather clever. Commitment-phobic Kevin (Lance Bass) meets Girl of his Dreams (Emanuelle Chriqui) on a Chicago train, is too much of a wuss to get her name and number. He then tries to right that wrong by making up "Are you her?" posters and papering the city with them, hoping she'll call. \nFatone plays one of Kevin's trio of dim-bulb best friends. Because he's a fellow 'N Sync boy, his character gets to be "the funny one," complete with increased screen time, a music career-subplot and truly disgusting flatulence jokes. \nThere are many other plot contrivances -- excuse me, subplots -- that make Kevin's life even more complicated, but they are all ill-conceived and out of place with the main plot. I had to suffer through them, but there's no reason you should have to do so as well. Bottom line is that the writers, director and producers involved in this movie obviously have no idea that sometimes less is more and that external complications are usually less interesting than internal ones. \nActing is also not the film's strong suit, with most of the performers sounding like they're simply reading the script aloud. The only saving graces of this movie, are some nice shots of downtown Chicago and Wrigley Field and appearances by Dave Foley (as Kevin's boss) and Jerry Stiller (as the mailboy at Kevin's workplace). What Foley, Stiller and the Chicago film commission were thinking when they agreed to be involved with this film is a column in itself. \nIt's also nice that Chriqui doesn't have average Girl of His Dreams looks -- she's very different looking, and that's good. If only her character, or any of the characters for that matter, had been given a little substance.\nUnfortunately, I fear this movie will end up as box office success. The audience who shared the theater with me, mostly junior high-age girls, appeared to enjoy it, laughing at the "jokes" and delighting at the finale, with its happy ending and cameo by fellow 'N Sync-ers Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick. So please, do not get "on the line." Instead walk, run, sprint to a movie of better quality. Even "Summer Catch" was better than this.

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