6.4/10
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146 user 97 critic

Laurel Canyon (2002)

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

Director:

Lisa Cholodenko

Writer:

Lisa Cholodenko
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances McDormand ... Jane
Christian Bale ... Sam
Kate Beckinsale ... Alex
Natascha McElhone ... Sara
Alessandro Nivola ... Ian McKnight
Lou Barlow ... Fripp (as Louis Knox Barlow)
Russell Pollard Russell Pollard ... Rowan
Imaad Wasif Imaad Wasif ... Dean
Mickey Petralia Mickey Petralia ... Mickey
Melissa De Sousa ... Claudia
Alexandra Carter Alexandra Carter ... Darla
Michelle DeMirjian Michelle DeMirjian ... China (as Michelle Demirjian)
Rick Gonzalez ... Wyatt
Dennis Howard Dennis Howard ... Mr. Elliot
Catherine McGoohan ... Mrs. Elliot
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Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atracção Acidental See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,099, 9 March 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,663,356, 3 August 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$590,802
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joni Mitchell, who was Lisa Cholodenko's inspiration for the Jane character, is among the musicians in Jane's photo gallery. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »


Soundtracks

Quartet (The Lark)
(1790)
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn (as Haydn)
Arranged by Charlotte Georg (as Les Peel)
Performed by OGM Studio Group
Courtesy of Ole Georg/OGM Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Well Enough
29 December 2003 | by wmjgas59See 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.


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