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
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
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
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