Elizabethtown Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2013
Things I Liked About "Elizabethtown" Upon Second Viewing
1. Orlando Bloom's performance. Despite having contracted Orlando Bloom Fever at the beginning of his mainstream career, with each "Pirates" and "LotR" installment, I got wearier and wearier of his pretty boy, dainty-featured backpfeifengesicht - German for "a face in desperate need of a fist." I felt a bit of that repulsion in the first few minutes of this viewing, but I eventually made peace with the delicate flower of his visage and was really impressed with his acting, especially during the road trip montage when he's alternately crying and laughing to himself.

2. The heartwarming midwest community. I saw this for the first time in northern Virginia, so perhaps I didn't understand the midwest mentality until I lived in Indiana. My daily life isn't quite like the family portrayed here, but even I was moved at the sequence of Drew first driving into Elizabethtown and seeing everyone waving and smiling at him with faces of seeming recognition, welcoming back the Prodigal Son.

3. The memorial ceremony turned into raucous fire and blazes, accompanied by Ruckus's indomitable cover of "Free Bird."

4. Claire's thought and effort of creating an emotional road trip for Drew to scatter his father's ashes.

Things I STILL HATE About "Elizabethtown" Upon Second Viewing
1. Kirsten Dunst. I didn't find her or her character, Claire, charming, cute, deep, or romantic (like NaPo's Sam in "Garden State" and even she's only likeable in small doses). "Elizabethtown" came during that dryspell after Kiki had outgrown her lost prodigy depth and bubbly cheerleader charm - which yielded such lifeless and/or annoying performances as in "The Cat's Meow," "Spiderman," "Eternal Sunshine," "Wimbledon," and this - and before she rebirthed herself as melancholic muse for the likes of Sofia Coppola and Lars von Trier. Her Kentuckian accent is terribly...not, and she plays Claire as much too self-deprecating (half-laughing through the big "I like you!" line), as if the actress didn't even buy the character's quirkiness. Claire herself is just a girl. She recites some manic pixie dreamgirl juxtapositions that seem delightfully incongruous, but then prove to be ACTUALLY incongruous and faux-inspired, e.g. "I'm impossible to forget, but I'm hard to remember." "Men see things in a box, and women see them in a round room." Is she? Do they?

2. The so-called fiasco involving Drew's shoe design. There's so much pretentious, aphoristic talk about fiascos and failures, but what exactly WAS the fiasco? What was wrong with the shoe? How could such a promising young podophile possibly think this vaguely Skechers Shape-Up prototype would work, and how did no one else notice its Achilles' Heel, if you will? The fact that none of this is ever revealed shows how little legitimate research on the shoe industry Cameron Crowe did. For one, it's lazy writing and directing. For two: see below.

3. The light treatment of suicide. This needn't have been a sadder movie, but it IS realistic at least, for all intensive porpoises. Without the grounding exploration of what failure means in the shoe industry, Drew's subsequent obsession with suicide is purely comical and absurd, not intellectual or existential. I'm never actually worried for or in suspense about his mortality. Also, the repercussions of the fiasco are only limned in monetary terms. Drew never expresses critical doubt about his mental, intellectual, social or self worth, which are more compelling problems than just the Benjamins. Even after Claire admits her burgeoning feelings for him, his immediate response is to blithely cite his date with destiny? Suicide's just a quirky appointment, not something that he is seriously debating cuz I'm sure after meeting his manic pixie dreamgirl, he'd be more apt to wine and dine the girl, not slice and dice his veins.

4. Hollie's tap dance. Okay, I normally love DANCE in movies, but I just wish this number was a little better. I know Hollie had just learned to tap dance on a whim in her grief, but the choreography was more soft shoe than tap. After her standup routine (which I didn't like although I do understand its purpose of diffusing grief), I just wasn't moved or impressed by the dance, and I wanted either more emotion or better execution.

5. The "last look" at the memorial. I was already irritated by the quirkiness of Drew "collecting last looks" and Claire clicking her mental camera, and Crowe managed to mess it up in the one place it could work. Amid the smoke, sprinklers, and Skynyrd, Drew looks up to the stage one last time, presumably at the sad but oddly jubilant tableau of his father's smoldering portrait and this utter shitshow, and thinks that this is a good last look, only to reveal Claire as the subject of his observation. It's not even that good of a last look, and it's clearly not the last time she'll be seeing him. I could buy it if it was a goodbye to his father and to the vagaries of the midwest.

6. The fact that everyone loves the soundtrack. I think it's overrated. Many of the songs sound like the same indie moaning. I prefer "Vanilla Sky"'s soundtrack.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2008
This is my second time watching this and 1 hour in I am removing this from the DVD player and my collection. It totally bores the hell out of me.
I like Kirsten Dunst, and she is charming here as Clare, but it is not enough to save this film and she's not in it enough.
Unconvincing on almost every level, Orlando cannot hold a film for two hours.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2012
The movie sucked and made kittke sense by the soundtrack was excellent, shame James Brown with thats life didn't make the sound track. Movie gets 2 stars, Soundtrack gets 5 stars
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2011
I didn't expect that this film would be this good, but I was surprised. I thought that this would be your regular run of the mill chick flick, it really wasn't. The film was a great blend of comedy and drama and the performances were well done. Cameron Crowe has made a terrific film with a different style than your regular romantic film. I thought it was a fine change of pace from other films. The cast here are terrific in the parts they play. I thought that Cameron Crowe was terrific for the director's chair, and he creates a film that is sad, funny and heart warming. Elizabethtown definitely exceeded my expectations. This is a great film is a must see film and there's plenty of scenes to like about this film. I enjoyed the scene where they play Skynyrd's Freebird at the memorial. For me that was one of the best parts of the film. I enjoyed this film very much, and I didn't expect to like this film, whatsoever, but I was surprised I did. The reason that the film works so well is because of the talented cast, and great direction from Cameron Crowe. Elisabethtowm is a fun, and sad drama comedy film that is better than your usual films of the genre, because it manages to be quite different. If you love Cameron Crowe's work, then give this one a shot, it's a fun, heartwarming and sad film, but in the end you feel uplifted and happy. A very good hearted story Elizabethtown is a wonderful film with a great cast and a surprising story. The film is not your usual romance film, and it's a refreshing idea to the genre. A must see.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Confusing at times and not really that romantic. It was alright, but nothing exceptional.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2007
This was quite good and a cutesy film but it didnt keep me too interested. Wasn't that gripping but it did have a good storyline and had loads of great funny moments. Orlando is hot.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
Such an awkward, self indulgent, poseur piece of crap. I read somewhere that originally the last travel car scene was like 30 minutes longer and man am I relieved that final cut never made it in. But there were some positives, and this is surprising because I did really like these things: 1) Despite her horrendous Southern accent (and creeping creepy ways), Kirsten Dunst is quite cute in this movie. I am in love with her clothing - the simple things, like a white tank with a flowy flowery skirt, her brown messenger bag, that black and white halter number wowee, 2) Susan Sarandon's tap dance has been called cheesy by most, but that scene literally made me cry. So Cameron Crowe was doing at least something right. It was just a simple gesture and the routine was so amateur, yet so right.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2008
Great Romantic Comedy. I adore Kirsten Dunst & Orlando Bloom. :) Just a great movie. :) Great movie chemistry :) Great music too :)
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2010
really moving
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2007
I've come to the conclusion that I didn't like this movie. I thought that the style of it was cute with Orlando's commentary here and there. But I thought that Kirsten's character was so annoying. And she had a Southern accent that came and went throughout the whole movie that that really bothered me.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2009
I love Elizabethtown for what it is. Yes, it's a romantic comedy. Regardless of that, it still manages to tell an amazing story with very relateable situations and characters. It's probably one of my favorite performances from both Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, they had the most amazing chemistry together.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2009
one of my favourite movies. orlando bloom is just fantastic, though outacted by kirsten dunst in almost every scene. the sound editing in this movie is some of the best you'll see anywhere
Super Reviewer
½ June 4, 2009
every single thing is predictable, but in some way that helps you to sit back and enjoy it. plus i dont see how anyone doesnt find Kirsten Dunst totally adorable
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2008
"It's a heck of a place to find yourself"

A young man in need of a fresh start gets one under highly unexpected circumstances in this emotionally resonant comedy drama from writer and director Cameron Crowe. Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) is considered the big success story in his family, having moved away from the small Kentucky town where he was born to California, where he works as a designer for Mercury, the nation's biggest athletic shoe company. But success has begun to elude Drew -- his most recent design was a resounding flop that has cost him his job, and his girlfriend, Ellen (Jessica Biel), has given him his walking papers. Drew is contemplating suicide when he gets word that his father has died, and that he's needed back home in Elizabethtown, KY, to help organize the funeral. With his mother, Hollie (Susan Sarandon), deep in denial about her husband's passing, Drew comes home to discover no one knows about his recent poor fortune, and he's greeted like a conquering hero. As Drew reconnects with his family and helps his sister, Heather (Judy Greer), look after Hollie, Drew gets a new lease on life and is reminded about what's really important to him. Helping him learn these valuable lessons is Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst), a pretty and optimistic flight attendant Drew meets on his flight home who has her own philosophies about positive thinking and the curative powers of travel. Elizabethtown also stars Alec Baldwin, Paul Schneider, Bruce McGill, Loudon Wainwright III, and Paula Deen.

This movie is definitely worth watching, and you will enjoy it better the second or third time you see it. The reason being that it doesn't tell us a story of one event - a funeral, but rather allows us to observe two young people dancing around each other. The reason I compare it to Pride and Prejudice is because I consider the psychology of the main characters being the focus of this movie. Although it's not described in so much detail and it certainly doesn't take some six hours as the (good) P&P, it is very funny to watch the way Claire and Drew's acquaintance develops. You could put Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey into the movie (well, maybe I wouldn't risk Spacey, just to be sure), and in the end you would still have just Claire and Drew, laughing and talking and trying to look relaxed... and it's really fun. The result is - don't mind the simple story. Observe the characters, try to understand them - and you will greatly enjoy it.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2006
Telling a somewhat similar story to the masterpiece "Garden State" this movie has to live with being compared to it. And loses by far. Bloom isn't all that convincing as failed shoe designer who has to deal with his dad's death while getting to know his side of the family. It is Dunst and her character that give this movie a few memorable moments, especially the ending is kinda sweet. But on the other hand there are so many scenes that just do not work, neither as part of the romance nor as family drama. That's not the cast's fault, which is full of big names, nor the directing, although we have seen Cameron Crowe do much better jobs. At least he still picks very nice music to create certain atmospheres. Sadly, the plot just didn't manage to move or interest me all that much.
Super Reviewer
January 29, 2008
Heartwarming film with plenty of smiles.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2006
The first act of Elizabethtown was nauseating and annoying. Screaming children and annoying relatives in conjunction with extended conversations about nothing left me nauseous. Then a few slightly interesting things happened and Kirsten Dunst didn't look too bad and I eventually got a little more into it. Susan Sarandon was annoying to nearly no end and Orlando Bloom was so uncharismatic to the point of bad comedy. There's one scene where he talks about having to be charming and I actually laughed out loud. He had no presence and the wild goosechase Kirsten Dunst send him on was just contrived dogshit. In the plus column it had a decent soundtrack even if about half of it was pure shit. The narration from everyone was uninspired and godawful and the fact that Dunst couldn't commit to an accent was irritating but not entirely surprising. This is as close to a movie version of purgatory you can get. It wasn't good, but I wasn't pissed that I saw it. It definitely should've been named Bluegrass State.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
Orlando Bloom has the worst American accent of all time.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2007
OK, Kirsten Dunst is...we all know what she is, but she has been in some decent films. I happened to like this movie and was rooting for the romance.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2007
This is a great movie. I love Orlando Bloom and Cameron Crowe is one of my favorite directors.
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