Here On Earth
Kelly (Chris Klein), a rich, spoiled prep school student who’s been given a new Mercedes for graduation, clashes with Jasper (Josh Hartnett), a jealous “townie.” After being kicked out of the local diner for causing a disturbance, the two get into a race and Kelly’s car winds up smashing into that same eatery, causing it to catch fire and burn down. The wise judge sentences the two teens to help rebuild the restaurant. While snobbishly resisting kindness from the people who have rented him a room, he meets Jasper’s girlfriend, Samantha (Leelee Sobieski). Although she is best friends with Jasper, and it is a given that they will one day marry, she quickly takes up with Kelly. During Kelly’s stay in the rural community, he gets into several altercations with Jasper and takes long walks with Samantha. But after falling in love, Kelly discovers that Sam has a terminal illness.
The film contains a moving performance by Ms. Sobieski (“Joan of Arc”), but Klein’s Kelly is so selfish and inconsiderate, he’s downright unlikable. It is Jasper who learns life lessons and reveals a true loving nature for Samantha. There are mostly good family relations and, for once, parents are not portrayed as insensitive boobs. Unfortunately, there is no spiritual guidance. Jasper misuses Christ’s name in one scene, indicating that he’s not very religious, and Samantha comes up with an ethereal explanation of what Heaven might be like, making you wonder if she believes in the Bible’s explanation of the afterlife. The young couple consummates their love in one scene. Although this is a part of life, Hollywood all too often treats sexual situations recklessly, and without consequences.