6.4/10
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146 user 97 critic

Laurel Canyon (2002)

R | | Drama | 28 March 2003 (USA)
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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

Jane: Are we ever gonna have a relationship?
Sam: Here we are - having it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Lost Battalion (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Know What I Mean
(1971)
Written by Lee Michaels (as Lee Eugene Michaels)
Performed by Lee Michaels
Courtesy of Lee Michaels
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This movie has a soul...
29 March 2003 | by EccentricCattle-2See all my reviews

In the 1960's, when the nation was divided over a war that many thought to be a tragic waste of human life, when many citizens thought the man in the White House to be an incompetent crook, and anyone who protested got labeled `unpatriotic'. wait, this is starting to sound familiar.

Anyway, in the sixties, Bob Dylan wrote a song wherein he sang, `Something is happening and you don't know what is, do you Mister Jones?' He was of course referring to the squares total inability to understand what the hipsters were up to. In fact, the squares would sometimes hear this song and have no idea what it was about. Well, the same holds true for writer-director Lisa Cholondenko's latest work, `Laurel Canyon'.

Here is a movie featuring characters that are truly authentic. The story is captivating, introspective and well worth telling. And yet, this picture is only playing in relatively few theaters and the critics, for most part, don't seem to get it. How can this be?

What's unique about this movie, to me, is that is has a soul. At certain moments it reminded me of some of Altman's work in the seventies. It moves at an organic pace. The characters feel alive. The house in Laurel Canyon, where much of the story takes place, serves less as a backdrop and more as window into one's self. Perhaps this is what some of the critics found particularly disturbing.

Here's what some of them had to say, followed by my comments.

E! Online said they couldn't figure out `what point the filmmaker is trying to make'.

The filmmaker isn't `making a point'. Most movies which try to make a point, suck. She is instead asking questions - questions which might present a challenge for some people to confront.

The New York Times called writer-director Lisa Cholondenko `an acutely observant chronicler of upscale bohemian subcultures'

What the hell does that mean? This movie is not about bohemians. It's about boundaries - the boundaries that destroy relationships and the boundaries that preserve them. It's about the limitations we place on ourselves which cheat us of the possibility of discovering who we truly are - and it's about the limitations which prevent us from hurting ourselves and others. Perhaps these issues fly beneath the radar of "Mister Jones".

Variety thought the `characters tediously one-dimensional, the dialogue banal.'

Well, all I can really say about that Bob Dylan already said much better. `Something is happening and you don't know what it is.'

The music in this movie is awesome, thanks to the writing talents of Mark Linkous, the creative force behind the critically acclaimed band "Sparklehorse." The songs are sung by actor, Allesandro Nivola, who's performance was awesome - as was Francis McDormand, Kate Beckinsale, Christian Bale and Natascha McElhone. All I can say is go and see it.

I saw it a week ago and it's been on my mind ever since. The movie speaks for itself.


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