Saturday, September 26, 2009


Elizabethtown, an offering from Cameron Crowe in 2005. The tagline goes, "It's a heck of a place to find yourself." Snippets from the DVD cover read the movie as a "life-affirming, heartfelt story", and then, "Every once in a while, a movie transports you to a place where heart, humour, incredible music, and an unforgettable story meet... Welcome to Elizabethtown."

Right. So the story goes something like this - Drew (Orlando Bloom) is faced both with the death of his father and a spectacular failure in his career (where he has somehow managed to lose his company around 1 billion dollars), and he travels to Kentucky for his father's burial. He meets flight attendant Clair Colburn (creepy stalker-ish woman who apparently has an 'unstoppably positive nature' according to DVD cover, and whose Southern accent comes and goes.) After that, the movie loses track. We're taken to scenes of the cliche Southern family, the father's burial, Susan Sarandon doing a ridiculous tap-dance and talking enthusiastically about her neighbour's hard-on at her husband's memorial service (no less!)... And, well, do I need to say more?

I always like to watch a movie right through to the end, no matter how good or bad it is. This was one movie that made me itch to switch it off after just half an hour. I've never liked Kirsten Dunst, and as for Orlando Bloom - well, the acting is pretty darn bad! Alec Baldwin's bit role is laughable, and sadly, Judy Greer's talents (remember What Women Want, and 13 Going On 30) are completely unutilised. I'm not sure about the direction - I haven't watched enough of Crowe's work to really judge. While I did like Jerry Maguire, I couldn't understand Vanilla Sky at all (but then again, I've seen just the first half), and I haven't watched Almost Famous, which is apparently one of his best.

At parts in the movie, I felt like whacking the characters for being so darn irritating. Drew, for one, seems more interested in getting into Claire's pants than mourning for his father. And as for Claire, well, that irritating camera-click action and her constant talk of Ben (the supposed boyfriend) made me want to scream. Loudly.

Of course, the movie does have its strong points. The soundtrack is spectacular - listen for U2, The Hollies, The Temptations, Tom Petty, and the song Moon River too! Add to that some really spectacular cinematography (just occasionally, though) - case in point - Drew scattering his father's ashes along his road trip.

That apart though, this movie has nothing to offer. I suppose you could read it as a person finding himself, or one woman's bubbly nature bringing a man out of his misery, or even as two souls coming together - but I, for one, was left feeling a little vague when the movie ended. And perhaps a sense of relief. Because the characters are not believable in any way, the plot seems stupid at times, and even the dialogue seems disjointed.

Watch it if you have nothing better to do. If you don't like it, well, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you do like it, well, drop me a line and try and convince me that there's something (apart from the music and the camerawork) in the movie that's worth paying attention to.