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Here on Earth
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the female lead of Here on Earth dies of cancer; even if it's obvious emotional manipulation, it can still be upsetting, especially if a teen has dealt with, or fears, loss. They should also be aware that there's plenty of teenage sexuality here, starting with crude jokes about body parts that fit in car tailpipes and what to do with handcuffs. While nothing explicit is shown, the two leads spend the night together, waking up in bed.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
HERE ON EARTH centers on Kelley (Chris Klein) and Samantha (Leelee Sobieski), who have just graduated from high school. Over the summer, the two begin to fall in love despite the fact that Kelley's family is wealthy, while Samantha's folks are working class. When Samantha is diagnosed with cancer, Kelley must decide whether to go off to college like his parents want him to or stay with Samantha.
Is it any good?
Events in Here On Earth aren't triggered by character motivation, but by writers setting up phony conflicts so they can bring about saccharine resolutions. One teen girl, who was the target audience for this effort, was unimpressed, especially during the movie's second half. The story initially held her interest, but too many gooey eyes in slow motion and endless fistfights had her yawning and fidgeting. The same teen viewer also pointed out that none of the characters were realistic. Leelee Sobieski's character is so saintly that she's always lit from behind to create a halo effect. These kids can't even seduce each other awkwardly. Worldly adults in a film noir are less smooth than these kids when it comes to flirting and wooing.
But the movie's biggest crime is its manipulative use of cancer to end the story. Unable to decide if Kelley should disobey his master-of-the universe father or dump his small town girlfriend, the filmmakers simply kill off the poor girl. And then they have the gall to attempt a happy ending. To top if off, parents may not like the message that following your heart is more important than listening to the advice of friends and family.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 14, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: January 14, 2002
- Cast: Chris Klein, Josh Hartnett, Leelee Sobieski
- Director: Mark Piznarski
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some sensuality and thematic elements
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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