God Must Have Spent A Little Less Time On Them


Crimson Staff Writer

About three-quarters through Lance Bass and Joey Fatone’s new comedy On the Line, I thought to myself, “Hey, you know this really isn’t so bad.” To be honest, I was expecting far worse from a movie that can be placed in the same teen idol category as Vanilla Ice’s 1991 masterpiece, Cool as Ice. (Oh yeah—for those of you who didn’t pick it up from my clever title, Bass and Fatone are two-fifths of the boy band N’Sync.) However, as I exited the theater some 20 minutes later, I overheard two larger, older and, moreover, professional critics exchanging a few words about the film.

“My word, that was awful,” said the first.

“Oh yeah,” the other eagerly assented.


This was indeed unsettling. Could it be possible I missed something? Was there more to this movie’s general lousiness than met the eye? I decided to give myself seven days to digest On the Line before I would write my review—seven days to search my soul, to go on what some Native American tribes would perhaps dub a “vision quest.”

And here we are. After three of perhaps the most emotionally and psychologically draining days of my life, I have arrived at a conclusion: There’s a reason these guys are professional critics and I write for a college newspaper. Or, put more bluntly, the movie’s not very good.

First of all, the concept of On the Line is rather ridiculous. Essentially, it’s the typical boy-meets-girl, boy-doesn’t-get-girl’s-name-or-number, boy-posters-the-city-of-Chicago-with-signs-trying-to-find-girl, boy’s-friends-set-up-dating-agency-to-deal-with-the-inundation-of-girls-claim-

ing-to-be-the-girl and boy-gets-girl-after-many-tribulations-and-wackiness tale. Sound silly? That’s because it is.

And that’s taking artistic license into account. I mean maybe the girl—Abby, it turns out, is her name (played by the charming and hot Emmanuelle Chriqui)—would be worth scouring Chicago for if her meeting with our hero Kevin (Bass) didn’t last more than two minutes. Jeez, it’s not even a romantic scene; the two talk about Al Green for a little while and then part ways.

Okay, so the movie has its moments. Pretty-boy Fatone singing Def Lepard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is pretty amusing, as is Dave Foley’s performance as Kevin’s Ginko-shake-swilling boss. However, the best moments in On the Line are certainly the unintentional gags. For instance, it seems as though after the film was shot, the producers decided to make it more kid-friendly by removing all the profanity. Thus, a character will look as if he’s saying, “His ass is mine!” but what you’ll hear is, “His butt is mine!” It’s painfully obvious and very funny. In a similar vein, Al Green actually stops by for a cameo performance and proceeds to do some of the worst lip-synching I have ever seen. It’s sad to see the Reverend making a fool out of himself, but at the same time he adds some much needed comic relief.

As for Bass and Fatone’s acting chops? All this critic can say is that the two should stick to making millions of dollars by making music. Actually, speaking of which, On the Line is kind of like an N’Sync song. It’s moderately catchy when you’re experiencing it, but in then end, only a 12-year-old girl could love it.

on the line