on January 01, 2002 by Kim Williamson
This story about young adults who spend much of their time communicating with each other online, even for sexual relations, won the Silicon Valley's Cinequest fest award for best narrative feature, but it's not a tale limited to considerations of computers and keyboards; director and co-writer Jed Weintrob's attention is dedicated more to the people who sit at those machines and try to find ways to connect with others more intimately than allowed by even the fastest broadband. Led by the always fine Josh Hamilton (best known for indie fare like "Kicking and Screaming" and "The House of Yes"), the acting corps proves fearless onscreen, whether the scenes being played involve revelations of psyche or body.

Nonetheless, "On_Line"--taglined "reality is the ultimate fantasy"--at times comes across as cinematic onanism, not only in the physical-act sense (which rears repeatedly) but also in its almost preening attentions to personal minutiae; the characters are so self-involved at such a deep level that they remain in their own worlds, shut off to that extent from moviegoers. Occasionally, they just seem silly, agonizing over the unimportant. However, any film with Hamilton is worth a watch, just for that. Starring Josh Hamilton, Harold Perrineau and Isabel Gillies. Directed by Jed Weintrob. Written by Andrew Osborne and Jed Weintrob. Produced by Tanya Selvaratnam and Adam Brightman. An Indican release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 86 min.

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