On The Line
I'm racking my brains trying to recall the last time I saw a successful music celebrity become a great actor or actress. Even the lofty ranks of Neil Diamond (remember The Jazz Singer?) and Madonna (who has presented more than enough bombs to comprise a body of evidence against her) prove the difficulty of moving from CD to cinema.
With odds this high, boy-band members Lance Bass and Joey Fatone from *NSYNC should be given great credit for even attempting such a feat. Fortunately, they (or their agents) were smart enough to cast them into a movie that serves one simple purpose: Putting girls in theater seats.
Bass plays Kevin, a young Chicago ad creator who can't talk to girls any better than he can pitch ad campaigns. After another long day at work, he meets Abbey (Emmmanuelle Chriqui) on the L-train. Knocked off his rails, the love struck *NSYNC'er is too shy to ask her name. Recognizing it's time for him to take control of his life, Kevin decides to paste posters all over the Windy City pleading for the mystery girl to phone him.
When the romantic story is assigned to a reluctant newspaper reporter (coincidentally a grudge-holding, former high school classmate of Kevin's), the publicity sparks phone calls from dozens of girls. Kevin's roommates--including Rod (Joey Fatone)--see the surplus babes as a ticket to dates every night. Unfortunately, the jaded journalist smells a scam and by the time Abbey gets wind of Kevin's desire, it appears his intentions are misguided.
On The Line's greatest claim to fame may prove to be its refreshingly low content concerns--relatively speaking of course. It takes nearly as much brain racking to come up with another teen movie that replaces the usual litany of four-letter words with sound alikes (heck, friggin), and who's biggest issues are recreational drinking, a punch administered in anger, some flatulent humor, and the depiction of young men misleading women so they can get dates with them. Meanwhile, its formula plot and many musical "bridges" keep the film completely *NSYNC with its target audience.