Many will go into “On the Line” with preconceived notions of the film, it is impossible to not be pessimistic about another romantic comedy, but of course, this one has a new string attached. OK, it”s not really a new string mainstream movies have been casting pop stars in roles (big or small) for years. This time Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of pop mega band “N Sync tackle the acting duties.

Paul Wong
Bass reminding me why I hate him<br><br>Courtesy of Miramax

After viewing this film for the necessary review, it was thought that it may be funny to write it as a good review, and then at the end break character and reveal the true identity of this unoriginal, dull film. But “On the Line” is so painstakingly bad, that it actually hurts to pretend it was something else. The viewing of “On the Line” is comparable to Chinese water torture you cannot wait for it to be over, and your mind tries to equate some goodness with this undertaking, but all you can think of is the utter stupidity and pain of the experience. You will try and forget it ever happened, and try to live your life as normally as you can, but it will always be there in the back of your mind, “On the Line””On the Line””On the Line”ahhh!!!

To slip into the endlessly recycled plot, Kevin Gibbons (Bass) is a loser with the ladies. Then on a beautiful day in Chicago, Kevin meets a beautiful girl (Emmanuelle Chriqui) on the train, and they have a beautiful conversation. They both love Al Green, and (oh my god) the Chicago Cubs. They can also recite the names of the Presidents in order (or at least the script can). But once again, Kevin fails to get her name and number. Trouble at work inspires him to lay it all “on the line” and put up posters around Chi-town trying to find this mysterious soul mate.

His life-long pals/losers (including Fatone as a rock star wannabe) alternate between supporting and manipulative in Kevin”s search, but they always remain un-amusing and usually annoying, too. Even Fatone, who visibly has a lot of fun acting like a goofball and TRL wannabe, cannot invoke much more than a sympathetic smile for his performance.

“On the Line” has hit a new low for romantic comedies. The romance is forced and unbelievable, and the comedy is just not there. Despite having “Seinfeld” standout Jerry Stiller and “Kids in the Hall” demi-god Dave Foley, all of the intended humorous pieces fall flat as a result of the clichd, impractical script.

One of the saddest facts about this film is something that none of the actors, scriptwriters, or directors could have solved, the production company. Miramax developed and released “On the Line.” What happened to Miramax”s original dedication to quality independent fare? “The Piano” and “Pulp Fiction” are ancient history to the Weinstein Brothers, who now go the way of the major movie studios by producing mainstream, bigger budget films. It is now about the dollars to be made instead of the quality of the films.

In the end of the film, Kevin gets the girl. They kiss passionately and all is well with the world. After the credits start to roll, the audience (lucky us) is privy to a “behind the scenes” look at the film we just witnessed. Justin Timberlake and some other member of “N Sync act as hairdressers to the stars, Bass, Fatone, and Chriqui. I am revealing this to prove that I really did stay until the end of the film although anyone in the theater could have predicted this ending at the start.

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