Elizabethtown

( 10 )

Overview

A young man in need of a fresh start gets one under highly unexpected circumstances in this emotionally resonant comedy drama from writer and director Cameron Crowe. Drew Baylor Orlando Bloom is considered the big success story in his family, having moved away from the small Kentucky town where he was born to California, where he works as a designer for Mercury, the nation's biggest athletic shoe company. But success has begun to elude Drew -- his most recent design was a resounding flop that has cost him his ...
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Overview

A young man in need of a fresh start gets one under highly unexpected circumstances in this emotionally resonant comedy drama from writer and director Cameron Crowe. Drew Baylor Orlando Bloom is considered the big success story in his family, having moved away from the small Kentucky town where he was born to California, where he works as a designer for Mercury, the nation's biggest athletic shoe company. But success has begun to elude Drew -- his most recent design was a resounding flop that has cost him his job, and his girlfriend, Ellen Jessica Biel, has given him his walking papers. Drew is contemplating suicide when he gets word that his father has died, and that he's needed back home in Elizabethtown, KY, to help organize the funeral. With his mother, Hollie Susan Sarandon, deep in denial about her husband's passing, Drew comes home to discover no one knows about his recent poor fortune, and he's greeted like a conquering hero. As Drew reconnects with his family and helps his sister, Heather Judy Greer, look after Hollie, Drew gets a new lease on life and is reminded about what's really important to him. Helping him learn these valuable lessons is Claire Colburn Kirsten Dunst, a pretty and optimistic flight attendant Drew meets on his flight home who has her own philosophies about positive thinking and the curative powers of travel. Elizabethtown also stars Alec Baldwin, Paul Schneider, Bruce McGill, Loudon Wainwright III, and Paula Deen.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Cameron Crowe’s latest, while not nearly as captivating as his Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, is a pleasantly offbeat and diverting romantic drama with a standout performance from Kirsten Dunst. Elizabethtown’s star, Orlando Bloom, is slightly miscast as industrial engineer Drew Baylor, who loses his job when his latest tennis shoe design turns out to be an expensive flop. Adding insult to injury, Drew’s girlfriend Jessica Biel walks out on him just before he learns about the death of his father, the patriarch of an eccentric Kentucky clan. Nearly catatonic with shock and grief, Drew makes the trip home and is befriended by Claire Colburn Dunst, an almost unbearably upbeat flight attendant who sees him through this rough patch. Crowe’s script has one basic problem: Although Drew is ostensibly the film’s protagonist, he actually does very little but react to the craziness around him -- until the latter reels, when his budding romance with Claire supersedes the family drama. In some ways Drew is like Alice in Wonderland, drawn back into a world that hardly seems real and surrounded by eccentrics whom he either barely knows or has deliberately minimized contact with. Among the outstanding supporting cast are Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Judy Greer, and Gaylord Sartain; Sarandon, especially, is in top form as the mother who engages in a series of whirligig activities in a mad attempt to fend off her grief. Bloom is okay as the shell-shocked son, but for our money the picture’s real star is Dunst, who is positively effervescent as the garrulous flight attendant.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Near the end of Elizabethtown, Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst) tells the lead character, Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom), that he must go deep into the "beautiful melancholy" of everything that has happened to him. That pretty much sums up director Cameron Crowe's modus operandi for the movie. While Crowe would certainly describe the film as whimsical, the word Drew uses to describe the look on his father's face the first time he sees his dad's corpse, the truth is that the film is unfocused. Containing elements of a corporate satire, a romantic comedy, an affectionate look at an eccentric southern family, and a warm-hearted lesson about living through tough times, Elizabethtown fails to make any of these elements cohere. Orlando Bloom gives a one-note performance, but he is playing a one-note character who spends the whole film in a listless suicidal funk doing little more than waiting to cry. He offers nothing that compels an audience to pay attention to him, so the average viewer will begin focusing on the edges of the film. Crowe obliges by stuffing the film with ancillary characters. Alec Baldwin, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon, and Bruce McGill all have a scene or two that showcases their talent, but they are also each given moments so misconceived that they produce little more than head-scratching disbelief in the audience. Playing a character simply too good to be true, Dunst embodies her perfect, unselfish woman with just enough pain below the surface to make her interesting, even though she remains entirely unbelievable. Without her, the film would be close to unbearable. What makes this mess of a movie all the more fascinating is that Crowe's relentless bittersweet melancholy seems entirely heartfelt. He is not talking down to his audience, tricking them into feeling big emotions. Crowe's honesty and earnestness make it difficult to hate the film because he plainly believes the moral of his own story. However, he became so focused on sharing his feelings in each moment that he never saw the big picture. As a result, Elizabethtown is a mess of a movie that only a talented writer could create.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929311101
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:03:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 26,705

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Orlando Bloom Drew Baylor
Kirsten Dunst Claire Colborn
Susan Sarandon Hollie Baylor
Judy Greer Heather Baylor
Jessica Biel Ellen Kishmore
Alec Baldwin Phil
Paul Schneider Jessie Baylor
Paula Deen Aunt Dora
Loudon Wainwright III Uncle Dale
Bruce McGill Bill Banyon
Emily Rutherfurd Cindy
Gailard Sartain Charles
Allison Munn Charlotte
Ted Manson Sad Joe
I Nine Singer
Technical Credits
Cameron Crowe Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Tom Cruise Producer
Andy Fischer Associate Producer
Beat Frutiger Art Director
Clay Griffith Production Designer
Donald J. Lee Jr. Executive Producer
Gail Levin Casting
David Moritz Editor
Nancy Steiner Costumes/Costume Designer
John Toll Cinematographer
Paula Wagner Producer
Jeff Wexler Sound/Sound Designer
Nancy Wilson Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Life Affirming

    This movie is so wonderfully life affirming, it made me want to leave the theater and dance across the parking lot. It's a real feel-good movie that manages to avoid being cheesy and predictable. It's absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not cinema gold, but easily the sweetest romantic comedy in the past decade-ish.

    First of all: If you are looking for an Oscar-nominated romance, quick! Look! "The Beauty and the Beast" was released seventeen years ago! Sarcasm aside, this movie is not amazing, but it is heartfelt, and one of my favorite movies. It has great humor and runs a bit like a "slice-of-life" flick, with a bit of "could-this-ever-really-happen-to-one-guy?" fantasy sprinkled in. The script is slightly lacking; it drags, it's slightly contradictory, and poor Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) is kind of watching this crazy part of his life run by with no real interaction with it. He's got some very touching, emotional scenes, though. It depends on how you enjoy your movies-- if you think "Michael" was a swell film and "You've Got Mail" and "Must Love Dogs" are the height of romantic comedy, then you'll probably squeal in delight over this film. However: If you want your romance with more than a swimming pool's depth, you might want to steer clear of this one. The soundtrack, however, for where the film fails occasionally, is all-out amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    poorly made movie.

    As with any media, you are the ultimate critic. Poorly written, directed, etc. Jumpy, sporatic, and slow. It seems this movie tries too hard to be impresionistic and is very slow moving. Several ideas are presented in this movie and the movie doesn't stick with one, but jumps sporadically between them. A long, drawn out film that could've used an edit or two. It falls short as a romatic drama, or whatever its trying to be (its hard to classify due to its many themed storyline). 1 1/2 hours could've been nicely cut out of this movie! Not recommended.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    i love orlando bloom!!!!

    omg i loved this movie its so sweet and kirsten everyone said she was crazy but that was good for the movie bc she sticks on ur mind i htought she was awsome and orlando bloom hotter than ever i love him he is so cute so yah i hope everyone goes and cs this movie bc its so awsome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    sam

    i loved loved loved this movie!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a letdown

    this movie was okay but it got really boring at times. the acting was good. it still seemed to be missing something. kirsten's character was a little whacky, but in a good way see this movie if you love orlando!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Won my heart....it will yours

    Elizabethtown is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen in a long time. It's hard to pin-point it to that genre though, for there's plenty of depth and drama within it. Cameron Crowe does such an amazing job with the soundtrack, piecing together music that moves you into the scenes, into the laughter, and into the pain. Kirsten Dunst is of course amazing, but Orlando Bloom really captured the film for me (not just because I'm a woman!). His acting was so genuine in soul, I was blown away. I guess I was able to connect to this movie in such a way because my father died 5 years ago. I was like Drew...very numb about it at first until it hit me and I cried and laughed at the same time in rememberance. Everybody....watch this movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bloom is the real surprise Crowe and Dunst disappoint

    I never thought Orlando Bloom could act. I never thought Kirsten Dunst could bomb. Every movie I have ever seen her in, she has been the best thing in it, no matter how lame the movie itself. But here...yikes. She is boring, trite, annoying. And I lay the blame for this fully at the feet of the director/writer Cameron Crowe. That he would take Dunst and make her into a lonely, psuedo-cheerful 'substitute' person is just a waste. The movie was self-indulgent nonsense. But the saving grace was Bloom. He made the pain and grief and regret so real. That the movie tried to get you to ride along with crazy family members and odd circumstances and really lame "let's walk our way through the great moments in the history of the South and be healed of regret and grief while listening to some snippets from the good old days of rock and roll" road trip montage at the end is simply a disgrace. But through it all, Bloom conveys sadness and being overwhelmed as well as anyone ever has. Is it worth seeing? Yes, for Bloom's performance and for what Crowe has to say about regret. But just ignore what Crowe wants to say about the healing powers of silly family members and rock music. He lies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Good Ol' Fashion American Film

    Cameron Crowe is 1 of the all-time best. All his films, minus Vanilla Sky, are awesome. Elizabethtown is fun. A picturisque portrait of smalltown America, the people who live it & some historic landmarks shown at the end. Another big story is casting Orlando Bloom, sporting a U.S. accent, as main guy: Drew. Bloom is outstanding, already the new Errol Flynn due to hit epics like Lord of the Rings & Pirates of the Carribean but he surprises all in the fact that he can also give a cool performance in a lively romantic comedy alongside an all-star cast that includes quitessential All-American girl next door: Kirsten Dunst. Bloom & Dunst are perfect together as the suicidal guy & the quirky flight attendent. I saw this 3 times at the theater, it's that great. No, my girl didn't drag me to see it. I'm a guy who likes Bloom's work since LOTR (My favorite books), Crowe rules & Dunst always delivers. There was 1 plothole in the film that left me guessing: What's the scam Drew's dad's ex-pal did to lose him lots of cash? Still, a gem that proves Cameron still has it & Orlando can do alot more than swing a sword & fire arrows (Though I hope he never stops doing it). Music is good, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews