Here on Earth

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Here on Earth Movie Poster Image
Contrived plot purposely pulls at heartstrings.
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Not a minority in sight (except the judge) in this lily white imagining of small town America. Some crass sexual humor.

Violence

Lots of fisticuffs. The female lead dies of cancer, which can be upsetting, especially if a teen has dealt with, or fears, loss.

Sex

Plenty of teenage sexuality, 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.

Language

Occasional mild to moderate profanity. One little girl flips the finger.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Underage drinking.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywonder dove November 17, 2013

Teens will enjoy!

Not a bad teen romance film! I watched this several times many years ago when it first came out, it's a great story for teens. Much like A Walk to Remember... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bycorinne.flint December 13, 2015

Amazing!

I was bored with my friends one weekend, and we saw this on Netflix. We watched it together and cried and laughed on several occasions! Truly amazing! Watched i... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bylifesaver13 April 9, 2008

This was great!

I love this movie! The actors and actresses were so good! I would totally buy it on DVD!

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 ...

  • Families can talk about the difficult situation faced by Kelley and Samantha in Here on Earth. Does the plot seem realistic to you?

  • What do you think the movie's goal is? Does it want you to feel a certain way?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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