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Elizabethtown

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Rated: PG-13
Directed by
: CAMERON CROWE
Starring:
ORLANDO BLOOM, KIRSTEN DUNST, SUSAN SARANDON
Released by: Paramount Pictures

In Short: Cameron Crowe's tale of a down-trodden man's journey to his hometown and the perky flight attendant who cheers him up, is cute as long as you don't think about it too much.

Prime Kentucky Corn
There's No Place Like Home
By Andrew Bender

“Drew Baylor” sort of rhymes with “failure,” and that’s what Orlando Bloom sort of plays in this film. Zippy and creative, he starts the movie as a sneaker executive who has just cost his company a billion dollars. Stricken with shame, he tosses his belongings out on the curb and is about to commit a rather painful (though ingenious) form of suicide, when he gets a call that his father has died.

On the red-eye to his ancestral town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, a chirpy, kooky flight attendant named Claire (Kirsten Dunst) makes it her mission to change his world with a brew of pop-psych insights, adorable winks and cutesy maps.

Problem is: we didn’t buy it for a second. It strains credulity to think that Drew, in his state, would allow himself to be programmed by an all-too-eager stranger, even if she does look like Kirsten Dunst. The rest of the movie is a series of set pieces and quick-cuts that don’t add up to much. About the only thing that seems real is the extended family in the land of Colonel Sanders. We felt manipulated.

All that said, “Elizabethtown” and its stars look and sound fabulous, which means that it will probably do brilliant box office. Bloom’s face expresses all the emotions from puppy to guppy—here he’s laughing, there he’s dancing waving one hand in the air—and Dunst is his female equivalent. John Toll’s cinematography creates a lush mosaic, and once again Crowe has lived up to his reputation for some of Hollywood’s greatest soundtracks.

Still, although parts of “Elizabethtown” have stuck with us, the experience was ultimately confounding. Think of it as a fantasy, and you’ll probably love it. Think any deeper, and you’re bound to ponder the definition of “failure” yourself.



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