Release Date: October 14th, 2005 by Paramount Pictures.
The Cast: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Paul Schneider.
Directed by Cameron Crowe.
BASIC PREMISE: On his way to his father’s funeral in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Drew (Bloom) befriends Claire (Dunst).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: After Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe has made another fun movie with a great soundtrack. Teen hearth-throb Orlando Bloom is well-cast the lead character, Drew. The initial encounter between Drew and Claire on the airplane is very cute and even funny at times. They both have great chemistry, even though the rest of the relationship is primarily over the phone. The scene-stealer Susan Sarandon plays Drew’s mother, who not only knows how to cook, but takes on tap-dancing lessons as well. It would have been more interesting if she had more scenes, but Drew’s adventures in Elizabethtown are entertaining enough—especially a hotel guest who melodramatically cries on his shoulder when he hears about the death of Drew’s father. On one hand, Drew’s father could have been introduced more than just in flashbacks in order to get to know him better. However, on the other hand, Drew barely got to know his father, so, therefore, the audience has the same information that he does. Besides the excellent choice of music, the cinematography is very impressive as well. One beautiful scene that comes to mind is when Drew spreads his father’s ashes into the wind simply by slightly sticking his hand out the car window as it speeds down the highway. The real surprise in this film is Orlando Bloom, who gives a surprisingly strong performance. He is likeable, charismatic, and knows how to find the right balance between being funny and being serious without ever seeming fake.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It is not easy to lose a loved one, even if you never got to know them too well when they were alive. It is equally inspiring and moving to watch Drew overcome the tragedy in his family and grow as a human being. Most importantly, at one point, he ends up crying, which not only shows his sensitivity and, ironically, his maturity.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The subplot with Susan Sarandon and her own way of dealing with grief could have been explored a little bit more.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: A tender, moving, funny, and sweet film with a surprisingly terrific performance by Orlando Bloom. The great soundtrack and beautiful cinematography help to make this not only a thoughtful film, but a thoroughly engaging one as well.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st)
The "E" Menu