Reviewed by: Jonathan Wooten
Making a lot of money and driving a nice car doesn’t mean you are necessarily a successful person in God’s eyes.
How good is good enough? Answer
Enjoy every moment, stop and smell the roses, etc. …because our time on Earth is limited.
Get to know your family, they are a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
If God knows I am HURTING, why doesn’t He help me? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Suicide, what does the Bible say? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
|Featuring:||Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Biel|
Donald J Lee Jr
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “After causing the Oregon shoe company he works for to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, Drew Baylor (Bloom) is fired for his mistake, and promptly also dumped by his girlfriend, Ellen (Biel). On the verge of suicide, Drew is oddly given a new purpose in life when he is brought back to his family’s small Kentucky hometown of Elizabethtown following the death of his father, Mitch, as it falls to him to make sure that his dying wishes are fulfilled. On the way home, Drew meets a flight attendant, Claire Colburn (Dunst), with whom he falls in love, in a romance that helps his life get back on track.”
Even on an off day Cameron Crowe is capable of creating sincere and touching moments. Whether it’s John Cusack hoisting a boom box over his head in “Say Anything” or Kate Hudson dancing in an empty concert hall in Almost Famous he just knows how to burn an image into your mind. Delivering a movie that is cohesive over the course of two hours has not always been his strength though and this is the main problem with “Elizabethtown”.
Here he uses the premise of a young man (Orlando Bloom) returning to his hometown for his father’s funeral (comparisons to 04’s “Garden State” are unavoidable). This setup works because it forces the lead to reflect. Throw in the colorful kooky characters found in Elizabethtown, KY and you have the potential for a good film.
The problems start with the casting of Bloom. He’s a swell guy and easy on the eyes (um, so I’m told), but he just lacks the charisma necessary to carry a character-driven film. He and Kirsten Dunst do make a good on screen couple though, and this is a genuinely sweet love story.
Also present are some positive spiritual themes. Although the couple does spend the night together in a hotel room, the relationship is not consummated (Dunst’s character later remarks that “the kissing was better than a lot of the sex I’ve had”). Also, after failing in the business world Bloom’s character must ponder the true definition of success.
This is good stuff, but unfortunately the story never really gels. The fact that some 20-30 minutes have been cut since its festival run earlier this year might explain this. This director is far from a hack though, and there is a great film in here somewhere. Bloom’s road trip through America’s heartland in particular is quite moving. Crowe is at the top of his game as he melds images of landmarks such as the memorial in Oklahoma City with his trademark perfect soundtrack. Hopefully, like with “Almost Famous”, we will eventually be blessed with a different director’s cut.
Possible objectionable content: Moderate profanity, one instance of graphic sexual dialog.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
See our interview with writer/director Cameron Crowe