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Elizabethtown (2005)

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2:33 | Trailer
During a hometown memorial for his Kentucky-born father, a young man begins an unexpected romance with a too-good-to-be-true stewardess.

Director:

Cameron Crowe

Writer:

Cameron Crowe
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Popularity
3,027 ( 598)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orlando Bloom ... Drew Baylor
Kirsten Dunst ... Claire Colburn
Susan Sarandon ... Hollie Baylor
Alec Baldwin ... Phil Devoss
Bruce McGill ... Bill Banyon
Judy Greer ... Heather Baylor
Jessica Biel ... Ellen Kishmore
Paul Schneider ... Jessie Baylor
Loudon Wainwright III ... Uncle Dale (as Loudon Wainwright)
Gailard Sartain ... Charles Dean
Jed Rees ... Chuck Hasboro
Paula Deen ... Aunt Dora
Dan Biggers Dan Biggers ... Uncle Roy
Alice Marie Crowe Alice Marie Crowe ... Aunt Lena
Tim Devitt ... Mitch Baylor
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Storyline

After causing a loss of almost one billion dollars in his company, the shoe designer Drew Baylor decides to commit suicide. However, in the exact moment of his act of despair, he receives a phone call from his sister telling him that his beloved father had just died in Elizabethtown, and he should bring him back since his mother had problem with the relatives of his father. He travels in an empty red eye flight and meets the attendant Claire Colburn, who changes his view and perspective of life. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Best Place To Find Yourself.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rencontres à Elizabethtown See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,618,711, 16 October 2005

Gross USA:

$26,850,426

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,034,891
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

Cameron Crowe's sixth film as writer and director. See more »

Goofs

When Hollie is tap dancing at Mitch's memorial service, the microphone that she puts down on the stage moves between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dock Worker: [receiving returning good] Welcome back, boys.
Drew Baylor: As somebody once said, there's a difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is simply the non-present of success. Any fool can accomplish failure. But a fiasco, a fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions. A fiasco is a folktale told to others, that makes other people feel more... alive. Because it didn't happen to them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film opens with the 1954 "VistaVision" Paramount Pictures logo - instead of the new 'live-action' one. This logo was used at the head of all Paramount films released from the mid-1950s through to 1986. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Life
(1966)
Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon (as Kelly L. Gordon)
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
underrated human comedy
19 December 2006 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Drew Baylor is a young man weighed down by an unusually burdensome burden: he's managed to single-handedly bankrupt the corporation he works for to the tune of a cool $972,000,000 when the shoe he's designed fails to catch on with the American public. With little left to live for and faced with a public humiliation the likes of which few of us could ever possibly imagine let alone survive, the only reasonable thing Drew can think to do is to put a quick end to his suddenly bleak and disastrous life. However, fate intervenes when, in mid-suicide attempt, his phone rings with news that his father has just died while visiting his side of the family in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Drew is forced to put off his offing, if only temporarily, while he does his duty taking care of the business of burying his father. On the way there, he strikes up an acquaintance with a kooky, free-spirited stewardess with whom he begins to develop a relationship. Meanwhile, he is embraced by the relatives whom he hasn't seen in years and comes to realize just what a special man his father was to the people in Elizabethtown.

"Elizabethtown" was not a roaring critical or commercial success for writer/director Cameron Crowe, but it is a charming, heartwarming film that looks and feels a lot like "Garden State," although, in this case, the young man is returning not to his own hometown but to the hometown of his dad. Crowe knows how to make romantic comedy look lightweight and easy. The characters and situations, though grounded in reality, always have a certain off-kilter quality of cockeyed optimism that keeps the movies from wallowing in clichés and that purges them of sentimentality. Drew's Kentucky relatives are not portrayed as hicks and rubes but rather as kind-hearted people who, though slightly suspicious of that branch of the family "from California" (actually they're from Oregon), welcome Drew into their midst with genuine affection and hospitality.

The romance between Drew and Claire, the flighty flight attendant, is developed with a great deal of emotion and charm. It is Claire's job as the life-affirming force in the scenario to articulate for Drew (and for us) what is and what is not important in life, and to see that creating a "fiasco" in the business world just doesn't rate as all that important when stacked up against truly important things like love, family and personal relationships. But, as always with Crowe, the message is never hammered home but filters through subtly, as he creates a thoughtful, lyrical poem through character and setting.

The movie hits a few wrong notes along the way, mainly in the scene at his father's memorial service, in which Drew's mom delivers a highly unlikely eulogy and receives a highly unlikely response from the audience. And the scene itself ends in a bit of desperate slapstick that is not up to the quality of the rest of the material. And even though Susan Sarandon is always delightful to watch, her character is fairly underdeveloped in this film and so she sometimes feels as if she is more of a tacked-on device than a genuine person in her own right. But all that is made up for by the wonderful performances of Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst in the lead roles - Bloom underplays beautifully, while Dunst emotes like crazy - and by Alec Baldwin in a wickedly witty cameo as Drew's boss, whose ability to reduce Drew to the mere shadow of a man while dripping with sarcasm and smiling through his clenched teeth is a priceless bit of satire aimed at the dehumanization that lies at the heart of the corporate world mentality.

Some viewers might feel cheated by the fact that Crowe reveals little about what kind of a relationship Drew had with his dad growing up. Drew is clearly not a bitter son, carrying deep-seated resentments around with him through adulthood, but neither does he seem overly affectionate towards the memory of his father or overwhelmed with grief at his passing. In many ways, Crowe holds back on revealing all this, as if to imply that revealing information of such an intimate nature to the audience would be something of a violation of that sacred bond that exists between a father and his son. Some artists would undoubtedly choose to go that route - letting the audience in on every sordid detail of the relationship - but Crowe is clearly an artist who feels we can learn just as much about Drew if the truth remains under the surface as we could if it were all out in the open. And in these days of hold-nothing-back, blab-it-all confessionals, that restraint is very much appreciated indeed.


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