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HERE ON EARTH

Starring: Chris Klein and Leelee Sobiesk
Director: Mark Pizarski
Rated: PG

HERE on Earth is a surprising film.

On one level it is a “teen flick” and so it has the mandatory adolescent love triangle and ensuing fight over which guy will get the girl. On another level it starts out exploring issues of the widening gap between the US’s rural poor and the urban rich and the attitudes that exist between these economic classes. Furthermore given that the title is a reference to the will of God as expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, there is an explicit theological theme running through this film as well.

Kelley Morse (played by Chris Klein) is in the final weeks of completing his secondary education at a very exclusive private school in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. He is spoilt, opinionated and arrogant.

While out on a joy ride in the Mercedes sports car his father has given him, he races Jasper (Josh Hartnett), a working-class lad from the local country town. They both end up crashing through the door of the town’s cafe. The mother of Jasper’s girlfriend, Samantha (Leelee Sobieski) owns the cafe. The judge orders both young men to help rebuild the diner over the summer holidays. To do so Kelley has to move into Jasper’s house and he falls in love with Samantha and she with him.

It is not clear what writer Michael Seitzman wanted to achieve in the script. It is unfortunate that he sacrifices the class conflict in favour of the romance as early as he does. By the end of the film Kelley is unmoved by his exposure to the rural working class. He is just in love with one of the pretty local girls who wants to see his Boston mansion. Seitzman missed an opportunity to use this genre to say something substantial.

Seitzman is also interested in theology. The theme of heaven and how it can be reflected here on earth is a constant motif. In the main, the film argues that nature and the faithful love between a woman and a man best reflect the Kingdom of God.

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