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Elizabethtown (DVD, 2006, Full Frame; Checkpoint)

Cameron Crowe, Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst | Theatrical release: 2005 | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
Though it revolves around death, Cameron Crowe's hotly anticipated follow-up to VANILLA SKY is optimistic overall, beaming with the same life-affirming mood as the crowd-pleasers JERRY MAGUIRE and ALMOST FAMOUS. Promising young shoe-designer Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) quickly learns how failure feels when his innovative but foolish design for a winged sneaker becomes the humiliation of the footwear industry. Informed of the magnitude of his mistake, Drew applies his design skills to the task of suicide by duct-taping a knife to an exercise machine. This melodramatic act is interrupted, however, when Drew receives a call from his sister, informing him that his father has died while on a trip to his home town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Drew's mother, Hollie (Susan Sarandon), elects him to go deal with the arrangements because he is the "responsible" and "successful" one. The only passenger on his flight, Drew meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst), a perky stewardess, who takes the opportunity to talk his ear off despite his apparent desire for some personal space. Supplying Drew with detailed hand-drawn maps, instructions for how not to get lost, and three phone numbers where she can be reached, Claire tenderly sends him off to confront a town full of relatives he has never met. Once in Elizabethtown, Drew is subjected to relentless family wackiness from people who seem to have known his father better than he did. Meanwhile, he stumbles into a hesitant romance with neurotic but charming Claire, whose anal-retentive wisdom, lust for life, and good taste in music may help Drew come to terms with his newly diminished place in the world--and to see it as possibly a better one. A love story, family drama, and road trip in one, ELIZABETHTOWN boasts another of Crowe's excellent soundtracks, with artists like Tom Petty and Elton John giving the film much of its emotional drive.

Product Details
  • Edition: Full Frame; Checkpoint
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 097360451627

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD
Display Format:Full Frame; Checkpoint

eBay Product ID: EPID51078788

Editorial reviews

"The film's best moments are pure expressions of feeling....Bloom is surprisingly comfortable in the role of Drew, coming off as sweet, warm and easygoing, and easily in touch with his pit of despair."
Los Angeles Times - Carina Chocano (10/14/2005)

"[T]hematically consistent with director Cameron Crowe's more rewarding works."
Entertainment Weekly - Entertainment Weekly Staff (02/10/2006)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 44 user reviews

Rating distributions

Created: 02/12/06

Elizabethtown

ELIZABETHTOWN is a film trying to get too many messages across in too short a time. Being a pretty big Cameron Crowe fan (VANILLA SKY, 2001), I came into this movie with high expectations. Some of them were met (music selection, unusual use of camera on characters), but the basic story and how it all came together obviously held too many challenges even in the expert hands of someone like Mr. Crowe.

The story (if you can believe it) is about a shoe designer named Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) who just lost his employer's sneaker company nearly a billion dollars. Having dedicated the last eight years of his life to making this shoe-gone-bad, Drew heads to his apartment with suicide on his mind. But before he can kill himself, his phone rings (cliche'?) and it's his sister telling him that their father just died. Being the eldest child, he is assigned to head to Kentucky, retrieve their father's body from "the other side of the family" and prepare it for cremation. Drew decides to delay his own death while dealing with his father's. So he packs up and heads to Kentucky ...but on the flight there he runs into a beautiful (if somewhat confused) stewardess named Claire (Kirsten Dunst) who forms a strange bond with him. They chat awkwardly on the plane and Claire forces information onto Drew about how to get to Elizabethtown without getting lost (and, of course, he DOES get lost).

Eventually - after finding his way to Elizabethtown - Drew has to deal with his father's side of the family. But they're accepting, loving, and have a southern charm about them that's centered around food and family and more food.

Drew calls Claire one night and they talk all night long, then decide to meet up again. A relationship starts to blossom, but each is held back by secrets (Claire tells Drew she has a boyfriend and Drew hasn't told Claire about his monumental shoe failure.)

Getting involved in a stranger's wedding, deciding whether or not to cremate Dad, dealing with family on both sides of the U.S., finding love, accepting loss and failure, traveling across the States, refinding love, and a multitude of other items are touched on in the film. But only just.

The movie's length was obviously an issue. It was only two hours. For a film that's trying to cover so much ground, more time was needed. The impact of Drew's father's death - and Drew's travels across the U.S. with his father's ashes - lost its impact on me because of all the other side stories (his mother's near mental meltdown, his sister having to deal with their mother, coping with out-of-control children by having them watch a video on blowing-up a house, etc.)

On the upside, this is a story about life. It shows everything that goes on between birth and death and love and hate. It's beautifully edited with an excellent soundtrack. It just needed more time to help completely flesh-out all of the storylines.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/06/06

The Best Roadmap Ever!

I decided to buy "Elizabethtown" after renting and watching it. It is a very quirky film in the vein of "Garden State". (If you liked "Garden State" you will love this film.) Everyone in Drew's (played by Orlando Bloom) family is rather eccentric or dysfunctional in a down to earth, fun loving kind of way.

Drew is very despondant over the fact that his shoe design failed miserably costing his company 970 million dollars. (He tries to commit suicide with a knife duct taped to an exercise machine). At the last minute Drew answers a phone call that tells him his father has died.

While on a flight to his native Elizabethtown, Kentucky for his fathers funeral, Drew meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst). Claire is the flight attendant and Drew the only passenger. Claire is unstopably positive and finally gets through to Drew.

Without spoiling this film entirely, I'll just finish by saying that the roadmap Claire puts together for Drews long journey back to California (via route 66) is pure genious and should make Rand McNally re-think the whole industry. "Elizabethtown" is a quirky, romantic comedy (if I must categorize) that I think everyone will enjoy, not just the girls.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 09/08/06

Elizabethtown (2006, DVD)

My family and I had seen this movie in a theater in 11/05 and really enjoyed it. The plot has an interesting combination of comedy, romance, tragedy, people working through grief, loss, disappointment. We had our attention drawn to this film by our watching the Food Network which featured a special program which told the story of cooking show chef, Paula Dean, had been cast in a role playing Drew's Aunt Dora in Elizabethtown. We were not disappointed; had fun watching Paula in her first movie role.

Drew (portrayed by Bloom)is, in almost a comedic way, suicidal at the beginning of the movie over a(n) (exaggerated) failure in his career. During his clumsy suicidal gestures, he gets a phone call from sister informing him that their father has passed away while visiting relatives in Elizabethtown, KY. Drew ends up getting the assignment (from his mom played by Sarandon) of going to that place to meet family and deal with the arrangements. In the process of all this, an interesting romantic plot develops between him and the flight attendant (Dunst) which continues through the end of the movie. The memorial service and the "car trip" home are highlights of the film, supplying humor and a certain amount of healthy suspense to the viewer. Enjoyed the fun, comedic touches throughout the film. Liked how the characters demonstrate sensitive understanding and concern to one another.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/09/06

Quite possibly the worst movie you will ever see

If you like to see awful movies, or feel like you have 2 hours to waste, by all means watch this movie, if you don't have the time, and want to do something more constructive like see how many peas you can fit up your nose, or make a paper mashay hamster, then do that, because it would be a lot more enjoyable then watching this movie. Somehow Crowe took a story that could of been really good, and made it terrible. The whole time you watch it you keep telling yourself one of two things, either it has to get better, or it has to be over soon. It was a very boring and dry movie. A peppy, if not quirky and annoying flight attendant, is played by Kirstin Dunst, who should really just go after what she wants and not act so difficult and stupid when it comes to love. Orlando Bloom plays the only likeable character in the whole movie, he loses his company almost a billion dollars, and all the blame is put on his shoulders. Right as he is about to kill himself he gets a call that his dad has died and he needs to go down to kentucky to take care of the funeral arrangements. He meets a flight attendant on his flight down (Dunst) and even though you can tell the poor guy wants to be left alone, she keeps talking to him, and draws him a map for when he gets there, and leaves him her phone number. He calls her later that night and they talk for hours and hours, and become closer. So at this point youd think itd be a pretty good story, but this is where is takes a nose dive. Instead of meeting again, falling even more in love, and eventually being together forever like every other chick flick, they meet again, don't really do much, and just become friends, in the background of all this is the funeral arrangements for his dad, they creamate him and have a ceremony, at which his mother tries to be funny with crude humor, and it doesn't work at all when an old woman is talking sexually, it just grosses you out. So Claire (annoying flight attendant, Dunst) suggest that Orlando go on a road trip back to his home, and she gives him a whole huge book of places to stop, and music to listen to, he goes on this trip and spreads his dad's ashes in a few different places, and eventually meets back up with Claire, and the movie ends with them kissing. Although through the whole movie its more of an uneasy odd kind of friendship/serious relationship. In all this movie was a rediculous waste of time. If you are ever made to watch it, treat yourself to two hours of sleep, you wont regret it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/09/08

Elizabethtown

Try as I might, I do my best to find great, even just very good movies only by seeing the critics positive ratings. If it is not one of the five movies nominated for the academy awards best picture, or if it is not one of Roger Ebert's top 10 of the year, I will not bother to see it. "Elizabethtown" did not fit either of these criteria, so probably it was just plain luck that I rented the DVD, after all, how bad can a Cameron Crowe movie be. My, what a wonderful surprise. Even if I did not like the love story, which I did, there is so much more to this movie. From the very beginning, Alec Baldwin informs shoe designer Drew (Orlando Bloom) that his is "a failure of mythic proportions", "972 million dollars", a catchy opening. Drew is then called to Kentucky for his father funeral. His cousin Jessie (Paul Schneider) gives a wonderful performance as the permissive father to a young son. Jessie's father is openly critical of Jessie's fathering skills. Jessie's performance as a drummer and vocalist at the memorial service for Drew's father is priceless. The song "Free Bird" is perfect for the setting. What a great bunch of character actors, starting with Bill Banyon (Bruce McGill), and the funeral director who thinks Drew is from California, and Drew's aunt and uncle. However it is Susan Sarandon who makes, albeit short, a masterful performance at the memorial with stories, and especially "Boner Bob". The music was fabulous. To me it is one of my 50 favorite movies of all time. I loved it. Hats off to Cameron Crowe.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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