In my never-ending quest to watch all of the worst movies ever made, last night I settled in for a viewing of On The Line. It’s a movie that stars two members of N’Sync (neither of whom are named Justin Timberlake), and it’s only available via YouTube. Amazon doesn’t offer it for streaming, nor does Netflix. Are there other streaming services? It doesn’t really matter. You’re not going to find On The Line available on any of them. Thankfully one enterprising YouTube viewer has cut the movie into nine “chapters” that you can queue up and watch at your leisure. The user’s name is LanceBassFanPage. Apparently they have consent from Mr. Bass to post the entire movie, so it’s not technically piracy to watch it on YouTube [Part 1 of 9].
Before you reach for the popcorn (or lube, if that’s your thing) you might want to hold off for a few hours. I can think of ten movies that have eerily similar plots to On The Line that you might enjoy more. Which is to say, On The Line is a horrible film. And not in the funny way that makes some bad films amazing. You probably won’t find it entertaining unless you continually remind yourself, “Lance Bass is gay, and his assuredness that this girl is his soulmate is really, really funny,” and “This movie was made AFTER the Internet and the best this guy can do to find a girl he met on the train is put up a few posters that look like missing cat ads?” Also, the film was made a few months after September 11th and it appears that — at least in Chicago — this guy’s struggle to find a girl he met once on a train is bigger news than anything else that was happening in the world at that time. Those three things will cause you to chuckle, but beyond that ti’s just a bad movie. You can pretty much get the On The Line experience with these similarly bad movies!
Ten Movies You Can Watch Before You See On The Line
Honorable Mention: 100 Girls – The girl who Lance Bass wants to bone — who was in Entourage, one of the worst series HBO has ever produced — was also in this movie. And the plot of 100 Girls? It’s about a girl who is pursued by a boy who didn’t know her name or how to find her. So it’s pretty much the same as On The Line.
10. The Truth About Cats And Dogs – Jeannine Garofalo plays an ugly girl (imagine that!) who has her pretty friend pretend to be her on a blind date, and they BOTH fall for the guy. And once the lie is lied, well…it takes some broken hearts and a lot of awkward encounters for the truth to be revealed so true love can be found. Compare that to a movie about Lance Bass playing a guy who can’t “close” with girls meeting a girl on a train but not getting her name or phone number. Then his friends starting going on all the dates with the girls who call claiming to be the girl on the train, and one of them tries to bang her. It takes a lot of awkward social encounters, broken hearts, and a totally irrelevant B-plot involving Jerry Stiller (who’s son Ben played opposite Garofalo in Reality Bites with Renee Zellweger, who was in My One And Only with KEVIN BACON!!!!!) for the truth to be revealed so true love can be found.
09. At Close Range – In On The Line, Lance Bass plays a guy who falls for a girl after a chance meeting on the L in Chicago. He sets about finding her by posting ads all over the city asking her to please call him. In At Close Range, Sean Penn and Mary Stuart Masterson fall in love at first sight, but then Christopher Walken (who plays Penn’s father) rapes her to keep HIM quiet…I don’t know, it’s pretty convoluted and it came out in the ’80s so this is all pretty hazy. Then at the end of the film, Walken orders a hit on Penn and Masterson, and only he survives. So there goes that love story! But I guess the revenge is that he testifies against Walken in court? So really the only thing that’s reminiscent of On The Line is that it involves two characters who fell in love at first sight. Except I don’t think the girl in On The Line is that interested in Lance Bass at first, because she waits a real long time to contact him. And also she’s dating a guy at the time. But it’d be pretty cool if Lance Bass’ father — or one of his loser friends — raped the chick. That would at least add some intrigue. Instead all we get is one of his loser friends saying saucy things to her, which totally turns her off of Lance Bass. It’s okay, he’s not even straight!
08. Wall-E – The plot of Wall-E is pretty much identical to that of On The Line. Wall-E is a robot who lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and the only human contact he has is with some robot named Eve (I think?), and after their chance meeting he follows her onto a spaceship and tries to fall in love with her, which makes no sense because they’re not even the same kind of robot. And since when can robots fall in love, anyway? They don’t have emotions! Likewise, Lance Bass and the girl from Entourage have a chance encounter, and then he goes on an adventure that’s supposed to bring them together, in love. And the acting is somewhat robotic. The actors have about as much chemistry as two different kinds of robots. I’ve heard their chemistry described as, “like a turkey sandwich and a hubcap”. If the movie took place in LA instead of Chicago I’d say the post-apocalyptic wasteland setting was similar as well. But Chicago is awesome. It’s just too bad that it wasn’t used to its potential. Apparently the only thing that ever happens in the entire city is Cubs games!
07. All About Steve – This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I just thought I’d throw that out there before I compare it to On The Line, which is probably in the top 25. In All About Steve, Sandra Bullock plays a retarded (I think? I hope?) woman who is set up on a blind date with Bradley Cooper, and then she stalks him across the country as he follows developing breaking news stories. On The Line is similar because Lance Bass has an unhealthy crush on a girl he just met and he himself becomes a major news story as a result of it. And by “major news story” I mean the fact that the put some ads up on walls asking train girl to contact him earns him front page Chicago Sun Times status. A month after 9/11. It’s not technically stalking…but a newspaper devoting front page space to a guy trying to track down a girl he just met? That’s almost as creepy as stalking a guy you just met and inadvertently becoming a news story in the process.
06. Adjustment Bureau – Imagine if Lance Bass and Entourage girl had a chance meeting (he begin a candidate for United States Senate… bear with me here…she being a struggling ballerina?) and then he loses her, sees her a few months later, only to find out from a bunch of angels in suits that they aren’t fated to be together. And then he sets out to disprove the angels in suits. That’s the plot of the Adjustment Bureau, a terrible Matt Damon movie that plays out like a futuristic (by ten years!) On The Line. It’s based on a Philip K. Dick book. Not the Lance Bass movie, the Matt Damon one. Still…similar plots.
05. Cinderella – You know the story, there’s this girl who has evil stepsisters and an evil stepmother, but the Prince or whatever that guy was falls in love with her, then he tries the glass slipper on every chick in the city (which was clearly a metaphor for banging every bitch in town) until he finds Cindarella. Now imagine Lance Bass is Cinderella… you see where this is going?
04. Speed – Two people brought together by fate (or coincidence), a means of transportation (bus/train), forces trying to tear them apart (a bomb, a relationship and a bunch of terrible bro friends)… there are more similarities between Speed and On The Line than I thought there would be when I decided to start comparing the two. The only difference, I guess, would be that Keanu Reeves plays a cop, and best friends Jeff Daniels is murdered by Dennis Hopper. Conversely, Lance Bass plays a ad man working for Reebok, and his best friend is Joey Fatone, who is signed to a record label by Richie Sambora. Not even remotely similar!
03. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West – Lance Bass and Entourage girl meet on a train, but once it stops they go their separate ways and Bass decides he needs to do everything in his power to bring her back into his life. Meanwhile in 1886, Fievel gets thrown off a train and his family winds up in Green River and he has to travel through the dessert to find them. Figure Joey Fatone is kind of like Tiger because they’re unlikely heroes who help the main characters meet their goals. Also Tanya (Fievel’s sister) sings that famous song “Somewhere Out There” in An American Tail, whereas Joey Fatone (Lance Bass’ bro) sings that famous song “Pour Some Sugar On Me” in On The Line. See guys, it’s practically the same movie!
02. Mac And Me – The plots have nothing in common. What these two films have in common is that they feature the most overt use of product placement in the history of filmmaking. Hell, Ronald McDonald starred in the trailer for Mac And Me, and there’s an entire scene filmed inside a McDonalds. Also the Alien only likes Skittles and Coca Cola and the mom works at Sears. Lance Bass works for Reebok, the first scene of the movie involves a little kid hitting on an older woman by sharing his McDonalds french fries with her, Sammy Sosa has a cameo after he hits a foul ball into some guy’s nuts, there’s an Al Green concert, MTV’s TRL is featured in a few scenes… I’m sure there are better examples I just can’t think of them right now. Oh, right, how about the two stars of the film are from fucking N’Sync. Is that product placement enough?
01. Serendipity – Substitute Lance Bass with John Cusack and Entourage Girl with Kate Beckensale and you’ve got the same movie. The only difference is that Kate Beckensale writers her phone number in a copy of a common book and John Cusack has to buy every copy of the book in Manhattan in order to find her phone number. Other than that, it’s the same movie. Friends get in the way, they screw it up once or twice along the way, but eventually end up together because that’s how fate works. You meet a girl on the train and talk to her for fifteen minutes, you’re pretty much fated to fall in love and be together for the rest of your lives. That’s how it works in real life as well as the movies. Which is why I’m about to go to a bar and pick up a girl at random. Because if Lance Bass and On The Line taught me anything it’s that all I have to do is talk to a girl and she can be mine. And if I black out early and forget to get her number, there’s always Craigslist Missed Connections to help me find her.
Apse – Wishlist [MP3]