I don't know why the Boston Globe Critic hated it, but I loved "Elizabethtown!" My wife and I don't go to a lot of movies, so we choose very carefully when we do. This film was anything but predictable, and it really kept moving. It tells the story of a young executive, Drew Baylor Orlando Bloom who has just launched a new high-tech athletic shoe at a company a lot like Nike, Reebok, and their ilk. Early on in the movie, he learns that the shoe is a billion dollar flop and leaves in disgrace. For eight years he has worked day and night for the company, "married to his <more>
career," so to speak. So when his world turns upside down, he's so lost he attempts an almost clever suicide plan. Then, things really get bad. A frantic phone call from his sister tells him that his father has died, very suddenly while visiting his family in Elizabethville, Kentucky. His sister, and especially his mother Susan Sarandon take it so hard and can't even go to the funeral.On the way Dtew meets a most unusual flight attendant, Claire Kirsten Dunst in a delightful role who shakes up his world. Drew of course is not his usual self with two major tragedies at once, and at first has a very difficult time mixing in with his father's family. An endearing performance by Paula Deen of the Food Channel leads the unlikely collection of his Kentucky family. Claire keeps showing up and brings Drew back into the world. You can tell from the brief flashbacks and other clues that Drew's father Mitch was really a great guy, and Drew comes to regret the fact that he had not spent much time with his Dad in his eight years as a Corporate Superstar.I won't go into the story much more than that because that would be giving too much away. I'll just say that this movie took many delightful turns with Claire, Drew, and his zany family. I think the most important thing I took away from the movie is that no matter how bad things get in your life, you should never give up. And of course, don't we all have a family back home somewhere made up of a homespun, delightful cast of characters? I have my own dear family back in Pennsylvania and Ohio. When all else fails, your family is always there.Crowe has stuffed a great sound track into the many scenes of the movie. The cast is delightful. There are some really entertaining moments including Drew's cousin's rock band playing "Free Bird" and Susan Sarandon tap dancing to "Moon River." There are so many great lines, you'll laugh out loud! And of course the ending -- a surprise, but a delightful one! Don't miss "Elizabethtown!"
Elizabethtown is a mastery of subtlety; instead of being a movie to escape reality in, it is a movie that enables you to examine yourself. At first glance, the characters and plot may be dismissed as "two-dimensional" and "uneventful," however, that is not the case. Like people in general, Kirsten Dunst's and Orlando Bloom's characters are struggling inside the awkwardness of life. They are both struggling to differentiate their public personas from their deeply private individual emotions. In discovering each other, they find an outlet for accomplishing just that. <more>
The movie gives one more than the chance to examine and understand the characters - it holds up a mirror so that we can all see in plain light own facades and struggles. What each person gets out of the movie is unique, but the overriding message of the movie is to let go of baggage and live life without fear. It is an optimistic movie, and provides cathartic healing almost as much for the audience as it does for the characters.
I have never seen a film that made me cry after I left the theater, until now. (by missmissa)
Cameron Crowe has managed to capture life in a single film. I've never seen a Cameron Crowe film before, so I didn't know he was capable of that. Basic storyline, Drew Baylor has to go to Elizabethtown, Kentucky from his home in Oregon to plan the funeral of his father and meets an interesting young woman, Claire, who helps him feel like he can live again. You see, I have a Southern family, and when I say Southern, I mean deep fried, as in Tennessee and Mississippi. I saw in this film a true Southern family with all of its dysfunctions and with all of its love. Southerners do have a <more>
distaste for outsiders, a love of food, and a strange fascination with death, but once they know you, they will take you to their bosom. And Crowe manages to portray Southerners without making fun of them, which is not something a lot of people manage. He juxtaposes a wedding with a funeral and both are big affairs in the south as they should be in life. The last part of the film is a road trip mapped out by Claire Kirsten Dunst that Drew Orlando Bloom takes with the ashes of his father. He sees the place where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. And he visits the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing. I'm going to stop here and say that I am a native born Oklahoman, and I was in the third grade on April 19, 1995. It was nice to know that somebody who is not from Oklahoma remembered, respected, and honored the victims and the survivors of the tragedy in such a way. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst both give wonderful performances probably the best of both of their careers in this film. Dunst is perfect at being sweet, Southern, and mischievous. Bloom is great when he's having his heart-to-heart with his father who is in an urn and he's laughing and crying at the same time. This happens in real life a lot, but you rarely see it in movies because so few actors can get to that place emotionally and sell it on screen. Overall, it's a beautiful film. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love.
Worth Seeing on a Sunny Autumn Afternoon (by lgoodman)
I went into this movie hopeful but not expecting too much, given the poor reviews I had seen for it. I walked out impressed and touched, surprised by how much I really enjoyed it, and wondering if other people would give it a chance and enjoy it, as well. Time will tell.The things that I liked about this movie are easy to feel but not so easy to describe. There were moments that really got to me, bits of scenes that touched me and caught in my memory, and time and again I found myself nodding and smiling and thinking, "I know exactly how he feels," or "I remember that <more>
feeling." Somehow, this story was good in a different way than Garden State was good. I loved Garden State, and the plot of Elizabethtown is enough like Garden State that it was hard not to have it in mind when I sat down in the theatre, but the two movies are really quite different. Crowe's Elizabethtown felt more real than Braf's Garden State, and somewhat less contrived.Elizabethtown is the kind of movie you should see on a sunny autumn afternoon after a walk with an old friend. It has a joy to it, a basic sense of optimism and a light touch, so that it never crossed the line from sadness into tragedy and melodrama. Crowe doesn't let us fall into sentiment, but he deftly weaves a story that could have been corny and sentimental in lesser hands. I read critics who said he let the music play the emotions for us, but I can't agree, because I think that the cast did an excellent job portraying people I could really feel for and with, especially Orlando Bloom.Orlando Bloom's Drew Baylor is introduced in a moment of pain and panic, utterly emotionally blocked, repeating "I'm fine" while feeling suicidal and saying "My condolences" to strangers and distant relatives as if the loss of his father belongs to them and not to him. In the film, he relaxes and grows emotionally under the tutelage of Kirsten Dunst's Claire, and together they work their way through the American heartland into a tender relationship and a new perspective on the meaning and value of life and success. His American accent and her Southern drawl might both be a little off at times, but it was easy to forgive in the interest of watching what happened next.From the side stories of the secondary characters Susan Sarandon is delightful, as always, in a turn as a widow whose reaction to her husband's death is to reach out and grab life with both hands to the road trip into Americana, all the quirky little moments that felt real and sincere made this movie one that I enjoyed watching and will think about and remember. I hope you enjoy it, too!
A touching and funny American classic... (by dmoore-23)
Watching the previews, one might expect some movie about a guy who loses a bunch of money. But that's just a hook. It's not really what the story is about.This is one of those road flicks, where Bloom's character Drew is forced to go on a journey of sorts... and in the process realizes that while he was busy trying to succeed, he missed out on doing all the things that really matter.This movie has all the markers of a Crowe flick... an awesome soundtrack for starters. What is unexpected about this movie, though, is how funny it is. It deals with some heavy subject matter death, <more>
suicide, failure in a way that's fresh... and light. There are some scenes that had the audience crying, they were laughing so hard.It has many of the same American nostalgic qualities to it, that orange dusty tint to the American landscape that ultimately makes most people nostalgic for a home they've never had. The small town, where everyone knows your name or in this case, your dad's name . Crowe introduced this movie saying that a lot of the scenes were from his memories of childhood and his family's eccentricities, which you definitely see. He completely succeeds in capturing the moments often embarrassing that families share... and outsiders never get to see.All in all, it's a fantastic gem. If you liked Almost Famous, you'll love this one.
Another "don't listen to the critics" lesson. (by geebeegb1)
If I listened to critics, I would never have gone to see this movie. Luckily I mostly ignore critics. I sat through this movie in an audience that cried with me, laughed loudly with me, groaned at a couple parts with me, and clapped when the movie ended. We all walked out smiling. There were a couple of dumb scenes but mostly this "life journey" movie was filled with moments we can all relate to and understand. Orlando Bloom was perfect in his role. His facial expressions, his willingness to let go, and his timing was right on. I am not sure about the choice of Kirsten Dunst. She <more>
was good but I think she was not quite right for the role. I could have done without the Susan Sarandon role altogether but I am not a huge fan. The side story of Chuck and Cindy's wedding weekend was so appropriate to the life aspects of the movie. Cameron Crowe has created a quirky, funny, sad, happy movie that made a couple of turns I did not expect. The road trip at the end was so familiar and brought back enough memories to leave me wanting more. This is a movie I will see again in the theater and add to my DVD collection.
The movie WAS NOT a series of disjointed vignettes, NOR was it lacking plausibility, as many critics have complained. Perhaps living on one of the coasts makes you too cynical and uptight to enjoy a movie that is based on the relationships and culture of the ordinary person. This movie was like reading a good book. If you've ever had a deep thought about life, or questioned the path your life has taken, or found pleasure in the small moments found in relationships with real people, you will find something in this movie that touches a chord within yourself. I think Cameron Crowe <more>
masterfully crafted a summary of those important moments in our lives that are meaningful. It didn't require a long, drawn out explanation. How many times do we think back to a particular moment, and all we remember is the person, the relationship, and the music tied to that moment? A song can take you to a precise moment in your life. He made that connection to all of us, through the life of one fictional character. I found myself enjoying being a fly on the wall, watching the characters, relating to the events, laughing at the poignant humor, and savoring the road trip reflections at the end. This was a movie worth watching, just because it is about the truths of life. The critics missed the boat on this one.
How could so many critics have panned this amazing film? (by porterkelly)
For the critics who say this film meanders and rambles, I have to say this: When your dad dies, your life meanders and rambles. I can't speak for everyone who has lost a father but I can speak for myself, and I thought it was spot-on in it's portrayal of the confusing roller-coaster that surrounds the death of a parent. Elizabethtown has all of the things you'd expect from a Cameron Crowe movie: a unique and personal story, great music, beautiful cinematography, surprising humor I was actually choking from laughing so hard during the videotape scene and very real and touching <more>
moments. I thought the acting was great. Orlando Bloom gave a touching and subtle performance. Kirsten Dunst's accent did go in and out a bit, but she and Bloom had such great chemistry that it didn't bother me at all. Susan Sarandon was perfect, Alec Baldwin was hilarious, the Elizabethtown residents were quirky and fun...if I have a complaint it's that the amazing Judy Greer was underutilized. Overall, this movie had everything that a great movie should have. Shame on the critics who panned it simply because it didn't follow the usual Hollywood plot mapthis film is about taking the scenic route and making the trip meaningful, and that's what it did.
I saw this recently at a screening in Houston and was pleasantly surprised. I have always been a partial fan of Cameron Crowe, and found Elizabethtown to be an endearing little film in the genre that is usually composed of stupid, pieces of inane crap. Crowe's new film is far from the average romantic comedy and while it doesn't really offer up anything new for the genre it is part of, it is very refreshing. Crowe has a knack for making things that would usually seem cheesy look believable and poignant. He implements this talent very well in Elizabethtown.The performances in the <more>
movie, except for Orlando Bloom's, were all very well done. Back to Bloom though: he almost ruined this movie for me. I found it odd that the most important character in the film was the worst acted. I cringed at almost all of his spoken lines, and was really disappointed in his casting. This movie could have been much, MUCH better if someone else had been chosen to play the lead role. Bloom either over acted, under acted, didn't try to act, or just acted really weird. You'll have to see the film yourself in order to understand what I mean.My favorite thing about the movie though was its soundtrack. It encompasses a lot of artists, all great, just like Crowe's last film, Almost Famous, was able to do very well. Another thing worth mentioning is that the film is a little too long, but since I viewed an unedited version, I'm assuming that it will probably be shorter when released.Again, I was very happy that I got to see this movie for free and would have gladly paid to see it if I had known that I would have been this pleased with it. I advise all of those interested in Cameron Crowe, Kirsten Dunst or even Bloom just to see how horrible he REALLY is to go see it when its released.*8/10*