Elizabethtown (2005) Poster


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How could so many critics have panned this amazing film?
porterkelly24 October 2005
For the critics who say this film meanders and rambles, I have to say this: When your dad dies, your life meanders and rambles. I can't speak for everyone who has lost a father but I can speak for myself, and I thought it was spot-on in it's portrayal of the confusing roller-coaster that surrounds the death of a parent. Elizabethtown has all of the things you'd expect from a Cameron Crowe movie: a unique and personal story, great music, beautiful cinematography, surprising humor (I was actually choking from laughing so hard during the videotape scene) and very real and touching moments. I thought the acting was great. Orlando Bloom gave a touching and subtle performance. Kirsten Dunst's accent did go in and out a bit, but she and Bloom had such great chemistry that it didn't bother me at all. Susan Sarandon was perfect, Alec Baldwin was hilarious, the Elizabethtown residents were quirky and fun...if I have a complaint it's that the amazing Judy Greer was underutilized. Overall, this movie had everything that a great movie should have. Shame on the critics who panned it simply because it didn't follow the usual Hollywood plot map—this film is about taking the scenic route and making the trip meaningful, and that's what it did.
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Worth Seeing on a Sunny Autumn Afternoon
lgoodman17 October 2005
I went into this movie hopeful but not expecting too much, given the poor reviews I had seen for it. I walked out impressed and touched, surprised by how much I really enjoyed it, and wondering if other people would give it a chance and enjoy it, as well. Time will tell.

The things that I liked about this movie are easy to feel but not so easy to describe. There were moments that really got to me, bits of scenes that touched me and caught in my memory, and time and again I found myself nodding and smiling and thinking, "I know exactly how he feels," or "I remember that feeling." Somehow, this story was good in a different way than Garden State was good. I loved Garden State, and the plot of Elizabethtown is enough like Garden State that it was hard not to have it in mind when I sat down in the theatre, but the two movies are really quite different. Crowe's Elizabethtown felt more real than Braf's Garden State, and somewhat less contrived.

Elizabethtown is the kind of movie you should see on a sunny autumn afternoon after a walk with an old friend. It has a joy to it, a basic sense of optimism and a light touch, so that it never crossed the line from sadness into tragedy and melodrama. Crowe doesn't let us fall into sentiment, but he deftly weaves a story that could have been corny and sentimental in lesser hands. I read critics who said he let the music play the emotions for us, but I can't agree, because I think that the cast did an excellent job portraying people I could really feel for and with, especially Orlando Bloom.

Orlando Bloom's Drew Baylor is introduced in a moment of pain and panic, utterly emotionally blocked, repeating "I'm fine" while feeling suicidal and saying "My condolences" to strangers and distant relatives as if the loss of his father belongs to them and not to him. In the film, he relaxes and grows emotionally under the tutelage of Kirsten Dunst's Claire, and together they work their way through the American heartland into a tender relationship and a new perspective on the meaning and value of life and success. His American accent and her Southern drawl might both be a little off at times, but it was easy to forgive in the interest of watching what happened next.

From the side stories of the secondary characters (Susan Sarandon is delightful, as always, in a turn as a widow whose reaction to her husband's death is to reach out and grab life with both hands) to the road trip into Americana, all the quirky little moments that felt real and sincere made this movie one that I enjoyed watching and will think about and remember. I hope you enjoy it, too!
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The Reviews Are So Off Base
lisafuhrman15 October 2005
The movie WAS NOT a series of disjointed vignettes, NOR was it lacking plausibility, as many critics have complained. Perhaps living on one of the coasts makes you too cynical and uptight to enjoy a movie that is based on the relationships and culture of the ordinary person. This movie was like reading a good book. If you've ever had a deep thought about life, or questioned the path your life has taken, or found pleasure in the small moments found in relationships with real people, you will find something in this movie that touches a chord within yourself. I think Cameron Crowe masterfully crafted a summary of those important moments in our lives that are meaningful. It didn't require a long, drawn out explanation. How many times do we think back to a particular moment, and all we remember is the person, the relationship, and the music tied to that moment? A song can take you to a precise moment in your life. He made that connection to all of us, through the life of one fictional character. I found myself enjoying being a fly on the wall, watching the characters, relating to the events, laughing at the poignant humor, and savoring the road trip reflections at the end. This was a movie worth watching, just because it is about the truths of life. The critics missed the boat on this one.
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Another "don't listen to the critics" lesson.
geebeegb122 October 2005
If I listened to critics, I would never have gone to see this movie. Luckily I mostly ignore critics. I sat through this movie in an audience that cried with me, laughed loudly with me, groaned at a couple parts with me, and clapped when the movie ended. We all walked out smiling. There were a couple of dumb scenes but mostly this "life journey" movie was filled with moments we can all relate to and understand.

Orlando Bloom was perfect in his role. His facial expressions, his willingness to let go, and his timing was right on. I am not sure about the choice of Kirsten Dunst. She was good but I think she was not quite right for the role. I could have done without the Susan Sarandon role altogether but I am not a huge fan. The side story of Chuck and Cindy's wedding weekend was so appropriate to the life aspects of the movie.

Cameron Crowe has created a quirky, funny, sad, happy movie that made a couple of turns I did not expect. The road trip at the end was so familiar and brought back enough memories to leave me wanting more. This is a movie I will see again in the theater and add to my DVD collection.
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I have never seen a film that made me cry after I left the theater, until now.
missmissa22 October 2005
Cameron Crowe has managed to capture life in a single film. I've never seen a Cameron Crowe film before, so I didn't know he was capable of that. Basic storyline, Drew Baylor has to go to Elizabethtown, Kentucky from his home in Oregon to plan the funeral of his father and meets an interesting young woman, Claire, who helps him feel like he can live again. You see, I have a Southern family, and when I say Southern, I mean deep fried, as in Tennessee and Mississippi. I saw in this film a true Southern family with all of its dysfunctions and with all of its love. Southerners do have a distaste for outsiders, a love of food, and a strange fascination with death, but once they know you, they will take you to their bosom. And Crowe manages to portray Southerners without making fun of them, which is not something a lot of people manage. He juxtaposes a wedding with a funeral and both are big affairs in the south as they should be in life. The last part of the film is a road trip mapped out by Claire (Kirsten Dunst) that Drew (Orlando Bloom) takes with the ashes of his father. He sees the place where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. And he visits the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing. I'm going to stop here and say that I am a native born Oklahoman, and I was in the third grade on April 19, 1995. It was nice to know that somebody who is not from Oklahoma remembered, respected, and honored the victims and the survivors of the tragedy in such a way. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst both give wonderful performances (probably the best of both of their careers) in this film. Dunst is perfect at being sweet, Southern, and mischievous. Bloom is great when he's having his heart-to-heart with his father (who is in an urn) and he's laughing and crying at the same time. This happens in real life a lot, but you rarely see it in movies because so few actors can get to that place emotionally and sell it on screen. Overall, it's a beautiful film. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love.
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A touching and funny American classic...
dmoore-2310 September 2005
Watching the previews, one might expect some movie about a guy who loses a bunch of money. But that's just a hook. It's not really what the story is about.

This is one of those road flicks, where Bloom's character Drew is forced to go on a journey of sorts... and in the process realizes that while he was busy trying to succeed, he missed out on doing all the things that really matter.

This movie has all the markers of a Crowe flick... an awesome soundtrack for starters. What is unexpected about this movie, though, is how funny it is. It deals with some heavy subject matter (death, suicide, failure) in a way that's fresh... and light. There are some scenes that had the audience crying, they were laughing so hard.

It has many of the same American nostalgic qualities to it, that orange dusty tint to the American landscape that ultimately makes most people nostalgic for a home they've never had. The small town, where everyone knows your name (or in this case, your dad's name).

Crowe introduced this movie saying that a lot of the scenes were from his memories of childhood and his family's eccentricities, which you definitely see. He completely succeeds in capturing the moments (often embarrassing) that families share... and outsiders never get to see.

All in all, it's a fantastic gem. If you liked Almost Famous, you'll love this one.
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I Loved this Movie!
consortpinguin16 October 2005
I don't know why the Boston Globe Critic hated it, but I loved "Elizabethtown!" My wife and I don't go to a lot of movies, so we choose very carefully when we do.

This film was anything but predictable, and it really kept moving. It tells the story of a young executive, Drew Baylor(Orlando Bloom) who has just launched a new high-tech athletic shoe at a company a lot like Nike, Reebok, and their ilk. Early on in the movie, he learns that the shoe is a billion dollar flop and leaves in disgrace. For eight years he has worked day and night for the company, "married to his career," so to speak. So when his world turns upside down, he's so lost he attempts an almost clever suicide plan. Then, things really get bad. A frantic phone call from his sister tells him that his father has died, very suddenly while visiting his family in Elizabethville, Kentucky. His sister, and especially his mother (Susan Sarandon) take it so hard and can't even go to the funeral.

On the way Dtew meets a most unusual flight attendant, Claire (Kirsten Dunst in a delightful role) who shakes up his world. Drew of course is not his usual self with two major tragedies at once, and at first has a very difficult time mixing in with his father's family. An endearing performance by Paula Deen of the Food Channel leads the unlikely collection of his Kentucky family. Claire keeps showing up and brings Drew back into the world. You can tell from the brief flashbacks and other clues that Drew's father Mitch was really a great guy, and Drew comes to regret the fact that he had not spent much time with his Dad in his eight years as a Corporate Superstar.

I won't go into the story much more than that because that would be giving too much away. I'll just say that this movie took many delightful turns with Claire, Drew, and his zany family.

I think the most important thing I took away from the movie is that no matter how bad things get in your life, you should never give up. And of course, don't we all have a family back home somewhere made up of a homespun, delightful cast of characters? I have my own dear family back in Pennsylvania and Ohio. When all else fails, your family is always there.

Crowe has stuffed a great sound track into the many scenes of the movie. The cast is delightful. There are some really entertaining moments including Drew's cousin's rock band playing "Free Bird" and Susan Sarandon tap dancing to "Moon River." There are so many great lines, you'll laugh out loud! And of course the ending -- a surprise, but a delightful one!

Don't miss "Elizabethtown!"
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A success about failure.
arielcatus15 October 2005
Elizabethtown is a mastery of subtlety; instead of being a movie to escape reality in, it is a movie that enables you to examine yourself. At first glance, the characters and plot may be dismissed as "two-dimensional" and "uneventful," however, that is not the case. Like people in general, Kirsten Dunst's and Orlando Bloom's characters are struggling inside the awkwardness of life. They are both struggling to differentiate their public personas from their deeply private individual emotions. In discovering each other, they find an outlet for accomplishing just that. The movie gives one more than the chance to examine and understand the characters - it holds up a mirror so that we can all see in plain light own facades and struggles. What each person gets out of the movie is unique, but the overriding message of the movie is to let go of baggage and live life without fear. It is an optimistic movie, and provides cathartic healing almost as much for the audience as it does for the characters.
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it amazes me that there is a market for this
robotgrass25 June 2007
Just a horrible attempt at a feel good movie which losses it luster after the first 12 minutes. The most annoying unresolved issues that were simply not addressed included:

1. What went so terribly wrong with the design of a single shoe that could possibly cost a company one billion dollars? A mystery...!

2. Why was the father who passed away such a revered individual? Why did a whole town to come to a halt, pay tribute, and mourn?? Come on Mr / Ms. Scriptwriter; give us something here...was he a war hero? Did he foil a bank robbery?

3. How is it possible that the main character was the only one on a 747 ? Has anyone out there ever been the only one on a major airliner going to where ever?

These points are not details, they are gnawing issues which demand answers.

Someone out there wasted two hours of my life, and I am not happy.
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underrated human comedy
Roland E. Zwick19 December 2006
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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Couldn't Find The Blooming Town
Miles Charrier27 May 2006
I love Cameron Crowe. Let's make that absolutely clear. The casting of his movies is superb not to mention the writing or the sound tracks. Here, however, in Elizabethtown, the leading man is a hole on the screen. No charisma, no projection, no involvement. I'm not a teenage girl, I grant you that, but I don't think Cameron Crowe made this film for teenage girls. There was something about returning, about rediscovering and/or perhaps about first love. Elizabethtown aims higher than most teenage bound movies. The comatose performance of Orlando Bloom makes everyone else appear as if they were high on something. Billy Wilder is always a little bit present in Cameron Crowe's movies and Kirstin Dunst's character is a Wilder character if I ever saw one. I kept seeing the young Shirley MacLaine, or longing for, I should say. Dunst is an interesting actress but here she has to work with a wooden leading man, so that piece of miscasting throws the whole well intentioned enterprise way off course. Never mind, my love and admiration for Crowe will survive this one.
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Nobody does it like Crowe...
harryangel139 September 2005
No other filmmaker captures the wonder and sweet, sweaty palmed innocence of new love better than Cameron Crowe. Crowe's unique view of the world, of the US and pop culture isn't naive - he's aware of and recognizes the flaws and horrors of the world around us but somehow sees beyond...his work is about the simple joys of being in love, of being alive, of the gentle eccentricities of mankind. I love him and ELIZABETHTOWN is his magnum opus, a funny, quietly moving, Rockwellian comedy with a glorious turn by Dunst and a likable one by Bloom. Many people will recoil at this film - like a symphony, it has many movements and complex orchestrations and certainly it isn't without flaws (lengthy running time, Sarandon's tap dance finale)but when it's all said and done ELIZABETHTOWN is a warm, endearing and romantic celebration of life and love. As usual, Crowe brings his passion for pop music to the forefront, breathing new lyrical life to classic rock and obscure B sides. I LOVE what he did to Lindsay Buckingham's acoustic version of Fleetwood Mac's BIG LOVE.

Hey...I adored this movie. It WILL stand the test of time and Crowe, God love him, is an artist to be equally cherished.
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Unfathomably awful
thoward12232 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Just horrifying. I like Cameron Crowe, I sat through Vanilla Sky (although mostly just for the soundtrack), and I think Orlando Bloom is likable enough. But I wanted this movie to end more than any movie I've seen in years. It just seemed like one big contrived emotional breakdown in search of a catharsis that never arrives.

Here's the thing. The last section of the movie -- in which Orlando Bloom's character follows the map laid out by Kirsten Dunst's creepy stalker-ish character to finally open up and find himself and blah blah blah -- was also awful, and staggeringly dumb. BUT -- that could have been the basis for a real movie. Not the map part, just the wandering around and finding himself part. Maybe not an original movie, but a real one. Instead it was just one more disconnected sequence tacked onto a whole slew of them, and it made me angry that the movie was made in the first place.

Hated it.
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Dull as a cloudy day at the beach !!
statajack15 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
With OB playing the lead role, I was hoping to get a glimpse of his acting prowess in a film that doesn't involve swords, arrows, ugly creatures and fast action camera-work. The first ten minutes started quite well, with possible undertones of some ironic black humour coming up. He gets fired for losing his employer the best part of USD 1 billion. Fair do's ! Then he's on a jumbo jet heading for Kentucky, the only passenger, and the stewardess (KD) tells him with a straight face that he saved all their jobs for being on that flight. Oh Oh ! The alarm bells start ringing. Was that supposed to be serious, or an attempt at humour !! The film then switches to Elizabethtown, and dies completely........

The relationship development between OB and KD is completely nauseating, and so endlessly boring with clichéd dialogue. It goes on and on and on, with no meaningful or interesting word from either of them. I pity both these actors for having to spout the most monotonous and diabolical script I have heard in years.

After an hour and a quarter, I couldn't stand anymore, and switched it off.

A few nights later I returned to the rest of the 2-hour film hoping that it would get going. It just got worse. Susan Sarandon at a sickly American-style funeral party doing a daft little jig on stage, and finally OB's road trip which made me want to tear out teeth.

The bit that bugged me the most, we never find out how OB lost his employer a large wad of cash !! If anybody wants a free DVD, you can have my copy with pleasure, otherwise it's going for a flying lesson out the window !
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My old Kentucky home
jotix1005 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Drew Baylor, the young athletic shoe designer, comes up with an idea of a sneaker that will revolutionize the industry. Well, sadly to say, his invention is like the Edsel of the Spasmodica Shoe Company! His boss reminds Drew how his design is responsible for the almost one billion dollars the company stands to lose. Sad and dejected, Drew contemplates suicide; what could be worse than feeling the derision of his co-workers and his stand in the industry? As he is preparing to put an end to his life, the phone rings and it's his sister announcing their father has died while on a family visit to relatives in Kentucky.

Drew must go to take care of the arrangements for the father's funeral. Along the way, he meets on the red-eye flight a chatty flight attendant, Claire, that will be connected to him in ways he didn't expect. His relatives prove to be too much for Drew, who didn't count in seeing so many of his kin in one place. His family has not forgiven the fact that the father married a California woman and moved there. After all, these are proud people that love their life in Kentucky.

Things get complicated as Drew and the rest of his family wants to have the old man cremated, something the family in Kentucky looks down upon. One relative takes Drew to the plot in the cemetery that has been reserved for that side of the Baylors. Drew decides to go on with the plans. It's because of the kindness and love he receives from all these unknown relatives that he has a change of heart and decides to comply with their wishes, but alas, it's a bit too late as the cremation went through.

When Claire appears in Elizabethtown, whatever they felt on that first meeting has changed. Claire is a beautiful young woman who likes Drew for what he is. Claire is intrigued by why hasn't Drew made a cross-country trip. She has a plan for him to see the beauty of the country in its back roads and real people, which is what he does on his way back home. By the time he reaches Oregon, he will be a changed man.

Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown" appears to be a film that has captivated audiences, judging by the positive commentaries in this forum. The fact remains, this film "borrows" from other Crowe's films incorporating them into this narrative. The film is in part a road film, most notably the last sequences in the movie that involves Drew's trip throughout the land.

Orlando Bloom seemed a strange choice for Drew. His accent is perfect and he is totally believable as this man that has to come to terms with the death of a father and a failure in his designing career. Mr. Bloom makes a good contribution to the film. Kirsten Dunst plays Claire. At first she is a bit annoying and pushy. It's clear from the start she really likes the taciturn Drew, who doesn't want to get too involved with her. Susan Sarandon has only a few scenes. Her tap dancing at the memorial service for her husband is hilarious.

Although this is not one of the best films of Cameron Crowe, it is by no means a disappointment. John Toll's cinematography shows the heart of the country and its uncomplicated folk at their best.
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A study in the overuse of cloying, trite plot devices
yegdad8 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Every time I thought this movie couldn't get worse, it did.

For this reason alone, I kept watching: morbid fascination.

It was a slow-motion traffic accident.

Stereotyping small town locals as one-dimensional hicks is such a lame and tiresome plot device. NOT stereotyping would have made things interesting. (For example, the movie "Junebug" shows how apparently simple town folk can have depth.) There must have been some temporal anomalies from Star Trek afoot in Elizabethtown -- how else can you explain:

  • how Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst) was able assemble a scrapbook/map and accompanying 42-hour CD music mix (complete with her perky voice-over!) while also spending all her time seducing Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom), chatting him up over the phone, and saving guests from a burning hotel?

  • how Hollie Baylor (Susan Sarandon) was able to take stand-up comic classes, tap dancing lessons, learn organic cooking techniques and auto-repair, and travel from Oregon to Kentucky all in the time between hearing of the death of her husband and burying him? (Her scene on stage was the most painful part of this "traffic accident". I just couldn't take my eyes away!)

  • how a running shoe product launch could possibly cost a billion dollars and why 28-year old is given a billion dollars to play with in the first place?

Finally, the road trip is the final offender.

Because the movie couldn't dredge up any of its own meaningful iconic symbolism, it tries to cheat by force-feeding movie-goers with motherhood Americana. The movie takes us to the Lorraine Motel balcony where Martin Luther King was assassinated -- presumably, the audience would be loath to criticize a motherhood icon such as Marting Luther King and -- the producers hope -- would be loath to criticize the movie.

They're wrong -- we can tell the difference.

(Notice that Tom Cruise is one of the producers so, on several levels, we shouldn't be so surprised by this.)
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Just terrible!!!
jyoti-gori10 April 2006
This movie was just awful. I had such high hopes for Orli, but man, he's like the vacusuck of personality--he pulls personality out of other people! So, they paired him with an overly gregarious KD in an attempt to level out to semi-normal people but to a very ill effect. She was annoying, he was boring, the family was farcical, the setting was a shallow stereotype of mid-America, and the attempt to evoke an emotional tie with the main character by having his father die was absurdly misplaced since the character himself obviously didn't seem to care a whole heck of a lot.

I hate not finishing movies, stories, what have you. But this, I could not bear to sit through. After cleaning half my house in sheer boredom during the first half, I finally turned it off to find something better to do, like counting the dog hairs on the back of my couch ...
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Not for everyone
Nicole P. (NMP1206)7 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I am a fan of Cameron Crowe's work. Say Anything is a rarely great romantic comedy, Jerry Maguire is a beautiful moving picture, and Almost Famous still remains in my top 3 films. I was looking forward to Elizabethtown mainly because its been 4 years since i've seen a Crowe film, and 5 years since i've seen a good one (not a fan of Vanilla Sky.) I heard not so good criticisms of this film, but critics never stop me from seeing a film. Although I did enjoy this film, I can see why some people did not enjoy it. It was a slow-paced film, lots of dialogue and LOTS of music (some-one called this film one big soundtrack). For me, the main reason why I enjoyed this film was because I could relate to the plot. This was a very personal film for Crowe, it being about losing his Father unexpectedly, something I can unfortunately relate to. It was definitely an emotional film for me and I thought that it was beautiful at times, especially the ending: ****SPOILER**** The road-trip Drew takes with the book that Claire gave him with the places we has to stop at and the CD's he has to listen to as he goes along I like very much. ***END SPOILER***. So like I said, this film is not for everyone. The movies about 2 hours long and is a little slow-paced, but it strikes chords with you. You will remember this film. Maybe not forever, but at least for a number of minutes after you leave the theater.
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bibliotek-118 March 2006
I thought that this movie was terrific. I wasn't really expecting much when I rented it. I had only seen a poster for the movie in a theater and knew that it had received very mixed reviews. But I found it be to quirky, unexpected, funny. Kirsten Dunst's character was captivating, and I thought that Orlando Bloom gave an interesting portrayal. I loved the sense of family and the notion that family members can always be counted upon in times of crises, despite an apparent clash of cultural values. The casting of Paula Deen, a star of the Food Network, as the renowned cook of the clan was priceless. There might be some comparisons to "Garden State" but I found "Elizabethtown" to be more positive and uplifting in its theme.
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Pleasantly Refreshing
knew022214 March 2006
I went into this movie not knowing what to expect. I left totally satisfied with the money I spent. As I watched this movie I reflected on my life and the relationships I shared with my family. It was quite relevant and rewarding. The soundtrack was exceptional and the acting was superior. I enjoyed this movie from the beginning to the credits. I was totally disappointed with Vanilla Sky and went to this movie really expecting to pan it. It was suggested I see it by the same person I saw Vanilla Sky with, of course they enjoyed Vanilla Sky. I thought this film should have garnered more Oscar attention, especially in a weak year. I would recommend this movie to anyone who really enjoys human life and film, it is that enjoyable. So if you are a fan of Mission Impossible or such don't waste your money, your tastes are not refined enough for this film. I have since bought the DVD and the soundtrack. I rank this as a must see for true movie goers.
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Highly Underrated Movie With a Nice Feel to It
Ron Bueing12 March 2006
Okay, I will admit up front that maybe Orlando Bloom doesn't do much for this movie but add a pretty face and certainly I am a sucker for Kirsten Dunst. Implausible plot - sure. But entertaining? I thought thoroughly so and with a good heart. The movie is very funny. Not slapstick, but funny. I laughed out loud often. The movie really doesn't take itself too seriously and that works for me. As for the acting . . . maybe I am being too hard on Orlando, because nothing he does is particularly bad, just forgetful I guess. But I will admit that I just felt like the cast wasn't particularly important to the movie. The movie has a feel to it that I connected with. The music, the visuals, the ease with which it flowed - just struck a chord. Overall, though it isn't that the cast is bad - they simply aren't noteworthy. In fact, I cannot remember a performance that was distracting or didn't mesh. It just seemed to me that the writing, the direction and the composition of the movie produced a feeling, triggered thoughts that made this movie a special event, time well spent ... who knows - I liked it.
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There is a lot to like here
metajohn5 March 2006
This movie is unlike most in that it doesn't try for reality -- it is more like an inner dialogue played out so we can see it.

There are several laugh out loud moments which should not be missed. These stand up even in a second viewing. The juxtaposition of Orlando's Bloom's fiasco-failure of historic proportions/his father's funeral/Chuck and Cindie's wedding/and perhaps finding his life mate, Kristan Dunst, are all woven into a timeless (no)place called Elizabethtown, which is magical. For me the magic worked. There were a few things that didn't click, but mostly it was genuine, funny, and affecting.

Alec Baldwin is perfect as Phil, the shoe tycoon. He has just the right mix of bonhomie, menace, and smart-guy-in-charge to fill the role.

Susan Sarandon seems a bit distracting at first but by the end "its all good," -- wait I don't say that -- "it works" there that is better. Her contribution is uplifting.

As for the "World's Second Largest Farmer's Market" -- it isn't on any map that doesn't map the human heart.
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A bittersweet and quirky film about loss, family and being ambushed by love
Cat Williams28 October 2005
If you're a cynic, you'll hate this movie. If, on the other hand, you appreciate movies that celebrate the rush of an unexpected love affair, weird but good-hearted relatives, and making the most of the time that is given us, this film is for you.

Drew Baylor is a young man swamped by disaster. Claire is the effervescent flight attendant who throws him a lifeline. Their romance plays out amidst a Southern family's turmoil over the loss of Drew's father. Alternately sad but sweet, funny and dramatic, Elizabethtown gives you the chance to spend a long, eventful weekend with these endearing characters. I wouldn't mind a return trip at all.

Orlando Bloom struck a perfect balance between humor and pathos. I'd go on a road trip with you and Sidi any day, Lando. Have you ever been to Wall Drug or The Corn Palace? I'll make us a mix map and we can roll on through the Badlands...

This movie is a salute to all of us whose hearts still reside in "Flyover Land". As for the cynics, you can keep all your sordid little crime dramas. Personally, I get enough of that just watching the daily news.
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When something bad happens , it could be the best that could happen to you
butl-211 September 2005
I was lucky to get the cards at Venice film festival Bloom and Dunst are just fantastic , the best love story i had seen for ages...

when something bad happens in life ,and everything looks just to bad to bear,,,,sometimes it is than you find true friends and love..people that are there for you when you truly need them , when you are down with spirit ..not when you are rich and successful...

every body should have an experience like that,,, to see who real friends around are

Crowe takes us on romantic journey through selection of excellent music to back up the emotional temperature and tells a story with warm gentle humor ,even if the main character is going through the worst time of his life( Bloom) and it is then that he meets his angel and true love (DURST)

Kirsten acting is the energy of the film(finally a role where she could show she can act), Bloom is fantastic as always true pleasure for the eyes and together with Crowes poetics they just win you over.

(when the fans were waiting for him for 4hours in the sun in Venice , he had the heart to go out of the cinema during the film and he was giving autographs...this guy has truly a big heart.. and he definitely deserves fans like that, a true star that will shine on the sky for ages

Maja from Slovenija
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A funny story that starts with disappointment and ends with hope.
dixiehnsnluver30 August 2005
This movie is heartwarming and hilarious! Orlando Bloom manages to connect with his audience and Kirsten Dunst brings a whacky humor to the plot. Southern life is depicted brilliantly in the small town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky- the hometown of Drew Baylor's (Bloom) recently deceased father. With each new family member and stranger on the street, Drew reluctantly learns to love life and all the ups and downs that come with it. Kirsten Dunst as Claire Colburn keeps Drew's hopes afloat. It starts out a it depressing but fear not, you will be smiling by the end! Perhaps a "great fiasco" is only the beginning of a great romance.
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