Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a great review of ELIZABETHTOWN. What I really like about this review is the inclusion of the opinion of his wife. It's a great read! I can't wait to see this movie!!! Enjoy the review!
Hey Harry and gang. Last night we had the US premiere of Elizabethtown right here in Kentucky where the movie was filmed. Actually the premiere was at noon in the town of Elizabethtown (45 minutes south of Louisville) but then Cameron Crowe and Orlando Bloom came up the highway and showed the movie to two theaters full of fans and media in Louisville at 7.
First - how cool is Cameron Crowe? He premiered this movie in Kentucky instead of New York or LA, he gave away free tickets to the premiere to fans, AND he did a two hour autograph signing at a local record store before the show. That shows the kind of fan appreciation that makes me like the guy even more than I already did.
I thought we were watching the final cut of the movie (it seemed polished and final) but in the paper this morning he said that this isn't the final cut but that he wanted people here to see a "director's cut" that is "longer and has more soul." Read the whole article here.
I can only think of a few moments were the movie could use a trim, so I'm not sure what's coming out before it hits theaters. I really liked the movie in it's current form (just short of love) so I'm not sure he should mess with it. My wife LOOOOOOOOOVED the movie in it's current form, so she definitely thinks it should be left along.
Bias warning: A lot of this movie was shot in my hometown of Louisville (and surrounding towns), and it was really cool to see places I know on screen, so that might make me lean a bit more in favor of the movie, but I think I can still give it a fair review.
Summary review if you're already bored with this article: I wouldn't put this up on the pedestal that I place "Almost Famous," but it is a funny, unique, emotionally strong movie that is definitely worth seeing.
The story: Orlando Bloom is Drew Baylor, a shoe designer who just designed a shoe so awful that it might sink his entire company. Just as he sits down to commit suicide, he gets a call telling him that his father died while visiting family in Kentucky (his father's hometown). Drew is given the task of going to Kentucky to retrieve his father and bring him back to Oregon where they will spread his ashes at sea. Kirsten Dunst is the stewardess he meets on the flight to Kentucky who gives him driving directions and her phone number in case he gets lost. Once he reaches Elizabethtown, he is confronted with dozens of his father's friends and family (whom Drew hardly knows) who all have their own ideas about how he should be buried and remembered. Through getting to know his roots, Drew gets to know himself. And I don't wants to say any more because I think the movie should unfold for itself.
The great: Orlando Bloom, Alec Baldwin (not much screen time, but he's great), whoever the guy is who plays Chuck, the humor, the soundtrack (does anyone incorporate music into a film better than Crowe?). Plus it just feels like a Cameron Crowe movie, and that's a great feeling.
The less great but not awful: Kirsten Dunst (sorry Kirsten, you're hot and all, but I thought you were a bit over the top at times - but not all the time).
Favorite thing: The scene where Orlando and Kirsten have their first phone call that lasts all night. Classic scene. Plus the fact that he doesn't make Kentuckians look like a bunch of toothless cousin-fucking rednecks. He shows us as the friendly, lovable (if fashion-challenged) people that we are.
Biggest complaint: Mitch is Orlando's dad whose death sets things in motion. But I never felt the LOSS that would seem to inspire the next two hours and twenty minutes. I can't put my finger on the specific problem or how to fix it. I think it might be the scene in the airport when Orlando is leaving for Kentucky - his sister (Judy Greer) and his mom (Sarandon) are with him, and for a family in grief, they sure don't act like it. Sarandon is already planning the rest of her life as a widow - and her husband isn't even cold yet. And when Orlando gets to Elizabethtown, everyone is acting like it's a big party. This is the most tearless movie about a dead guy I've ever seen. I know people grieve in their own way, but shouldn't someone be upset about Mitch? I think the later emotional highs would be so much higher if we felt the loss more.
Side note: my wife doesn't agree with this criticism at all. She LOOOOOOOOOVED the movie. And she wants to buy the soundtrack.
So there is my two cents - I'm curious to see the final cut and see everyone's reaction to it. Thumbs up from me (thumbs way up from my wife).
Aaron (I have no creative AINT-IT-COOL name, feel free to give me one)