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Harmony, a cosmetic saleslady who was born at an Elvis concert, finds her life linked to the legend. One day while driving, she accidentally kills some Elvis impersonators and flees the scene. She goes on the run from the FBI and joins up with a depressed executive.Written by
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This quirky romantic comedy is yet another indication of how Hollywood is desperately running dry on original material. Shamelessly using a popular music icon as a come on, "Elvis Has Left The Building" is a movie that you will curse for having wasted an hour and a half of your life.
Harmony Jones is a beautiful middle aged blonde struggling with a crisis. Not only is she fretting over her boring life as the spokesperson for Pink Lady cosmetics, but Elvis impersonators around her end up dead. As she tries to finish her sales pitch tour while simultaneously making heads or tails of the alarming mortality she unwittingly causes, the FBI and a smitten ad exec (John Corbett) are on hot pursuit. But after having been touched by the King as a child, she prays to him -- like a deity for guidance and asks for help. Answers are not easily forthcoming, however, but in the end, what proves to be a bane has become her salvation. Like God, Elvis also moves in mysterious ways.
I applaud screenwriters Mitchell Ganem and Adam-Mitchell Garber for creating a script that is hackneyed, half-hearted and sorely unfunny. How this script got the greenlight is totally beyond me. Director Zwick may have been dazzled by the premise, but he did not even attempt to overcome the overwhelming blandness of the script to turn it around. If they had pushed the envelope even more, this movie wouldn't have been such a cliché-driven droll. Maybe that's why Zwick managed to lure Tom Hanks, Richard Kind, Pat Morita and a slew of talented comedians in this movie -- for padding. I even think Zwick and this movie aren't well-matched. Maybe Joe Dante's too busy.
To be fair, Kim Basinger made a superb (and rare) performance as the befuddled and panicky lead. Her luminous presence here reminded me of her past forays into more successful comedies like "My Stepmother is an Alien" and "Nadine". I almost mistook Corbett as Jeff Bridges in this movie. She manages to get over the horrendous dialogue and make us feel for her, for a few moments.
Horrible as "Elvis Has Left The Building" may be, the movie turns an unlikely evil eye to America's commercialization and cheapening of the Elvis heritage. The movie lifts its nose on Americans who had turned Elvis' memory into a travesty of kitsch! Even though I really dug that subtext, the movie doesn't really fully realize its potential and opts for that run-of-the-mill plotting reserved for Jennifer Love Hewitt and Hilary Duff vehicles.
Don't you dare watch this movie! But should it become available, buy the soundtrack instead. The movie has a sublime collection of Elvis songs performed with such panache by the likes of Norah Jones and Babyface. Kim Basinger even got to sing a nice rendition of "You Were Always On My Mind". You'll feel so much better after.
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