Laurel Canyon (2002)

R  |   |  Drama  |  28 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 12,858 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 146 user | 96 critic | 36 from

When an uptight young man and his fiancee move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.



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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fripp (as Louis Knox Barlow)
Russell Pollard ...
Imaad Wasif ...
Mickey Petralia ...
Alexandra Carter ...
Michelle DeMirjian ...
China (as Michelle Demirjian)
Dennis Howard ...
Mr. Elliot
Mrs. Elliot


Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam and his fiancee Alex move to Los Angeles for Sam's residency and into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon. Only problem is, Sam's mother is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for the band of her new boy toy, Ian. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Alex doesn't mind but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused on her work (finishing a dissertation on genomics), but is soon distracted by the rock-'n-roll lifestyle going on around her. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by beautiful Israeli intern Sara. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On the road to the perfect life, Sam & Alex took a little detour.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atracção Acidental  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$149,099 (USA) (7 March 2003)


$3,661,906 (USA) (25 July 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Red Hot Chili Peppers appear among the musicians in Jane's photo gallery too. See more »


The album-wrap party takes place in a suite on an upper floor of the Chateau Marmont (we see Ian order more champagne for the "penthouse suite", and the view from the balcony is clearly an upper floor). Yet when Sam storms out of the suite, then runs downstairs while arguing with Jane, they only descend one flight before reaching the lobby. There is a cut, but the dialog implies that no time was cut from their descent. See more »


Sara: [on the phone with Sam] I can't control my heart... I wouldn't want to, even if I could.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Editorial Mensch ... Caryn Marcus See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) See more »


Tear Off Your Own Head (Doll Revolution Remix)
Written by Elvis Costello
Performed by Elvis Costello
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Subtle, Rich, Film With Fine Performances
11 June 2004 | by (LA, CA) – See all my reviews

If you like being smacked in the face and having characters who behave in emotionally "traceable" ways (i.e., whose motivations are apparent as soon as they act), you won't like this film but what a joy it is to watch a film unfold in layers, slowly, subtly, un-rushed, in a way that most American films don't allow, too much in a rush to get to the next "plot point" and too obsessed with big dramatic turns. Audiences have to be fed such things, constantly, or they'll lose interest, right? Wrong, I hope. And, Laurel Canyon makes the point better than a debate ever will. This is a remarkable piece of tapestry in muted tones and hues, populated by complicated, confused, uncertain, searching people. And, they change. But, they change by degrees, not by full turns of the wheel. Kate Beckinsale should watch this film over and over, and get out of the Spandex and Leather of the comic book films she's been doing. She and Frances McDormand are as real as any two actors you'll ever see on film. There are a couple of possible story "cop outs" in this film, which we won't mention because they'd spoil the story. But, in the end, they might not be cop-outs at all. They might be preferable to answering all the questions and delivering us from the theatre all neatly reconciled and sent off to coffee and desert. Good for you, Lisa Cholodenko. A brave choice and a fine film.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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