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Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A romantic tale, October 17, 2005
This review is from: Here on Earth (DVD)
Perhaps I am a softie or a romantic, but I can't agree with many who pan this film. It is far from the greatest of films, but it was touching in many ways. It is rather formulaic, but the formula works here for the most part. A rich upstart teenager comes into a small town and manages to get into a fight with a local and burn down the local diner. In a made-for-television kind of Solomonic wisdom, the judge sentences them to work together to rebuild the diner, Mabel's Table, the 'hot spot' of this whistle-stop town. Rich out-of-towner and local boy fight over the local girl, who has a tragic secret she is concealing.

Leelee Sobieski, plays the lead as Samantha, the local girl track star whose knee gave out, jeopardising her chance to go to college. Chris Klein plays Kelley, the spoiled rich kid who is nonetheless intelligent and has a heart he begins to discover during his time in the small town. Josh Hartnett is Jasper, the local boy who wants nothing more than to keep things the way they are, including his relationship with Samantha. Most of these performances are servicable without being stellar; they are typical romantic B-film fare, with many long, ponderous glances overlooking scenic views, and silly situations in which everyday life is shown.

The action is slow, but then, it isn't meant to be a fast-paced film. Samantha is torn between the comfortable sameness of her life in the small town with Jasper and her family, and the attraction that rich 'bad boy' Kelley represents, particularly after she learns he does have a heart. Samantha overhears Kelley reciting the valedictory speech he was prevented from delivering because of his sentence to build the diner; Kelley in the end does get to the deliver the speech, under different circumstances.

Jasper and Kelley fight (both verbally and physically) over the affections of Samantha, but when Samantha falls ill, they are able to put this aside for her sake. The diner is rebuilt, the town is restored to wholeness, but the situation with Jasper, Kelley and Samantha enters a new dimension, as fate has a different ending in store that none of them anticipated at the beginning of the summer.

The other actors in the film are really background for the tale - few stand out, but one who does is Annette O'Toole, who plays Samantha's mother, a role very similar to the one she takes up on 'Smallville' as Clark Kent's mother.

The story is gentle, sad, poignant - not terribly original, but very understandable in human terms. Love is unpredictable, and love often hurts. Love sometimes requires a sacrifice. Love can transform you. These are all themes that come across in the film, if not always terribly successfully.

It is a film worth watching, though.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 18, 2016 7:09:29 PM PST
Jack Devine says:
can't say any thing about this film but I watched the film from beginning to end
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Review Details

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Reviewer

FrKurt Messick
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Bloomington, IN USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,534