Melynee, Amy •
Because, despite all the promotional appearances and marketing blitzes (convenient new girlfriend and all), when you’re sitting in that theatre and the lights go down and the music starts, it’s impossible to deny the truth. Or, at least, it is if you’re a PopGurl.
You’ve heard the company line: how this is a “Boy meets gurl, boy loses gurl, boy tries to find gurl and make with the awkward open-mouthed-devouring kisses” kind of a movie.
Don’t believe the hype.
What On The Line is, actually, is a “Two boys find their way to one another while their roommates, two other boys obviously in love and settled, play along” kind of movie. And in some scenes, there’s an extraneous gurl.
Not convinced? Let us break it down for you. Eric (GQ) and Randy (James Bulliard)? Together. Totally. They’re cohabiting, for god’s sake! We’re talking longtime companions here, people. You did catch the way they bicker, right? Just like an old, married couple. And in contrast, we’ve got the real love story of the film, that of Rod and Kevin. They’re best friends. They’ll do anything for each other. And in that most classic of movie tropes, spending all their time together, their relationship has grown to a whole new level. Neither of them knows how to tell the other, however. *sigh* And so they exist in a lovestruck limbo; gazing longingly after each other and pining their little hearts out, only truly able to allow themselves to feel joy in each other’s presence, but neither one able to express in words the emotions tearing up their hearts, all while sustaining a level of sexual tension that’s nearly palpable. This is drama, baby! That’s not all, though! We can’t forget about Brady Frances (Dan Montgomery Jr.), Lance’s long-lost spurned lover, reappearing just in time to wreak his dastardly revenge…
Still not sure? That’s okay, we understand. You want proof. Well, we’ve got it, y’all. Those double entendres. The lust-filled glances. Every heated exchange. We broke ’em all out for you.
Who loves you?
- Rod to Kevin: “You. You should have never quit the band.”
Unspoken Subtext: “Because I can’t bear to be apart from you.”
- Eric to Kevin: “You’re 24 years old. It’s not the first time you ever choked with a chick. You got a problem.”
U.S.: “You’re gay.”
- Rod to Kevin before singing a slightly altered version of “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”: “Kevin, this one’s for you.” Cut to significant look from Eric to Kevin.
- For the ladies, Abbey’s roommate, Sam. Who loves Abbey. Really.
- Brady to his boss, re: Kevin: “Look, you don’t understand. I have a history with this guy.”
- Eric, to Randy, as they sit on the couch playing footsie: “Hey dude. You don’t look so good.”
“Yeah, you usually look better.”
If Rod and Kevin are the slashy heart of the movie, Eric and Randy are the first runners up.
- Post-Kevin’s first phone call from a girl responding to the posters, Eric and Randy, in their excitement, both leap over the couch back, ending, one can only imagine, in a nice little tangle with Kevin on the floor.
- Rod, mid-diatribe about the hypocrisy of the music business: “Dude, I’m about the love.”
Eric, to Rod, with his hands on either side of Rod’s face: “And the passion.”
U.S.: “And I know firsthand, baybee.”
- Just after the first article about Kevin hits the paper, he makes his usual morning circuit through the agency, where he is ogled and giggled at by a bevy of ladies. And right near the end, one very cute boy.
- Rod, at the baseball game, responding to a woman who wants to fix her daughter up with Kevin: “Oh yeah? Does she eat meat?” Said while taking a large bite of hot dog.
- Later at the game, Rod attempts to convince Kevin that perhaps this girl isn’t all that Kevin thinks she might be.
U.S.: “Why do you want her when you can have me? Me, me me?”
- Eric, to Kevin: “I can’t believe Brady hooked you up with that article in the paper, considering you dissed and dismissed his ass during high school.” His. Ass.
- Nathan presents Kevin with a collage prominently featuring the word, “Loverboy,” and follows up this presentation by blowing Kevin a kiss.
- Playing “Barbecueball” in the park, Kevin throws the ball at Rod: “What the heck did you do that for?”
“That’s for using my towel the other day.”
“Yeah, well, I also wore your underwear.”
- Eric, looking over the barbecue as he sidles up to Randy: “Oh my gosh, dude what is this?”
“A hot dog.”
U.S.: “As if you didn’t know.”
- Brady to Julie, re: Kevin: “What is your obsession with this guy?”
And moments later Brady says, “That loser’s just putting up posters to meet more girls.”
“You’re just jealous.”
- Eric and Randy brag about all the action they’re getting, while practically sitting on top of each other at the breakfast table.
- One of the baskets in the mailroom is labeled “Chance.” For those of you not up on *Nslash, this is a happy conjunction used to indicate a Chris/Lance pairing. Chris. Lance. Chance. Get it?
- The Big Love Scene at the Bar. Rod tells Kevin that he can empathize with what Kevin fells for Abbey: “You want something so bad it hurts. I just admire your passion, Kev.” Rod then pulls out a cassette tape and pushes it in front of Kevin. “You inspired me to write this. And, uh, I figured if you could put yourself on the line to find that girl, I could do the same.” The song “Falling” swells in the background. Rod touches Kevin on the shoulder and leaves, while Kevin looks lingeringly after him.
U.S.: Yeah, okay. It’s all pretty much just text, there.
- Nathan, to Kevin, after he has just given Kevin his baseball: “Now, you’re not gonna kiss me, are ya?”
- Eric to Kevin, as Kevin is prepping himself to go meet Abbey for the final time: “Are you feeling good? You’re looking good.”
“I feel good.”
“And you look good.”
U.S.: “You look good.”
- After Kevin departs, Eric and Randy put their arms around each other. Eric says, “Y’know, sometimes you just gotta let ’em go and hope you raised ’em well.”
Then Randy presses Eric’s face into his shoulder.
U.S.: “Isn’t there a back room somewhere around here?”
- Despite all the fuss about finally meeting the train Girl, Kevin has taken the time to send a copy of Rod’s tape to The Mick. Oh, young lovers.
- Julie has tracked Rod down to the bar, and confessed her attraction to him. Rod flees. Well, ok, he asks if she wants to hear a song he wrote. But still, fleeage.
- Rod, introducing his song: “This is, uh, a song I wrote for a very good friend of mine.” Meaning Kevin. Immediately followed by the lyrics, “I get a feeling I can’t explain whenever your eyes meet mine…”
- Mid-chorus: “‘Cuz I’m ready to fall in love tonight, ready to hold my heart open wide. I can’t promise forever, but baby, I’ll try. ‘Cuz I’m ready to fall in love tonight.” Randy and Eric look at each other. And nod.
And, y’know, we haven’t even mentioned the torch Mr. Higgins (Dave Foley) is obviously carrying for Kevin. But see, that’s the thing about slash. Once you start noticing it, you’ll find it everywhere. And you don’t want us to spoil all the fun, do you?
We thought not.