Laurel Canyon (2002)

R  |   |  Drama  |  28 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 12,860 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 »


On the plane, Sam and Alex ask for scotch and juice, respectively. The stewardess hands them a bottle (presumably of scotch), a glass of ice, and an empty glass. See more »


Sara: I just... I don't really know you, I... I just feel connected to you, I feel... I feel safe with you. Like it's okay to be honest. It's just one of those things. I'm just attracted to you. And it's not just because I think you're incredibly sexy.
Sam: [laughs, exhales, scratches his head] I think that you're incredibly attractive too, Sara, I do.
Sara: You do?
Sam: Yeah, I think about you. Trust me. A lot.
Sara: How do you think about me?
Sam: How?
Sara: Yeah. Do you think about me having sex with you?
Sam: Yeah.
Sara: How?
Sam: How do I think...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to Christie Gaumer & Shakespeare and to Red Hot Chili Peppers. See more »


Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »


In a Funny Way
Written by Jonathan Donahue, Sean Mackowiack (as Sean Mackowiak) and Jeff Mercel
Performed by Mercury Rev
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Well Enough
29 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

I really enjoy reading other folks reviews of films I have seen. It is interesting to see how personal perspective is, well, personal.

I have been a paid critic in the past and have often explained to folks that opinions are just that, opinion. So I will endeavor to explain my case for this fine film.

This is a story of a journey. It is not the journey the characters think they're taking. It is the odd place they go on their way to what they thought they wanted. In that way, it is a lot like life.

You have the fish out of water aspect. A young couple wonders into his mother's life. A life he has never appreciated or enjoyed. His girlfriend, on the other hand, seems primed for the hedonism she encounters.

The mother (played to amazing life by Frances McDormand) is a record producer with a successful business life and a spotty personal one. She's in the midst of recording a record when her son descends. But it is the young man who fronts the group she's producing that has both her and her son's girlfriend in a lather.

There are emotional affairs flying about. There is moral condescension from characters who've been less than honorable.

On top of a good to great cast of principal actors, there's the soundtrack of flat-out great music.

Well directed, admirably cast, with an ambiguous and thoughtful script, plus enough sexual tension to fuel a score of teen comedies. Great flick. Bring your moral compass, and your ears.

35 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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