Film review: Elizabethtown (2005), directed by Cameron Crowe
Life kind of sucks for Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom). He’s just made the shoe manufacturer he works for lose a heck of a lot of money (not entirely sure why the shoes had to be recalled, though), his girlfriend (Jessica Biel) doesn’t seem to want to be his girlfriend any more, and the boss (Alec Baldwin) insists he does an interview with a business magazine and take the full blame for the disaster. It will be in the next issue, which will be out at the end of the week, and then everyone will know what a failure he is.
Basically, life can’t possibly get any worse for the poor man. Except that very same night, his sister (Judy Greer) phones him to say their dad Mitch (Tim Devitt) has suddenly passed away, and their mother (Susan Sarandon) is beside herself.
It’s decided that Drew is to travel to Mitch’s side of the family in Kentucky, where he died, to arrange a memorial service and also to bring him back to the family in Oregon. Well, not like he has anything else to do, right?
On the very quiet night flight, Drew doesn’t get much sleep, as a chirpy flight attendant (Kirsten Dunst) insists on talking to him. Turns out her name is Claire and she’s from Kentucky. She gives him driving instructions, because Elizabethtown can be difficult to find if you don’t take the right turn-off and so on. She ends up giving Drew her contact details.
In Elizabethtown, Drew is like the lost son who has returned. Okay, the family keep saying he’s from California (where they lived for about three months 27 years ago, before they moved to Oregon, where they’ve lived ever since), and his cousin’s (Paul Schneider) child is a little brat, and it’s all very complicated. The Kentucky side of the family want one thing when it comes to saying their goodbyes, and Drew’s family want other things. But they’re all very friendly.
Still, he misses home, and as no one picks up the phone, he ends up spending the entire night talking to Claire, and … the rest, as they say, is history.
Also stars Bruce McGill as Bill Banyon, and when I saw him, I went “hey, it’s THAT guy!” and was completely thrown when I saw the name, because it meant absolutely nothing to me. Bruce McWho? Turns out he was MacGyver’s roguish pilot pal Jack Dalton. THAT guy!
Elizabethtown is a film full of heart. It’s a little bit quirky, a little bit dark in places, and while it’s not a film of big laughs, it’s touching and rather enjoyable. Some people would say it’s incredibly dull, but it’s sweet and romantic, and … a “chick flick”, admittedly. Nowt bad about chick flicks, though. They do their trick, as does this film.
4 out of 5 blue suits.