Dave's Rating:


… an ankle-deep coming-of-age movie …

Who's in It: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Judy Greer

Who's Barely in It, So Don't Get Excited: Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Jessica Biel

What's the Deal? Bloom is a failed sneaker designer on the verge of suicide — his doomed shoe resembles a manta ray — when he learns of his father's death. Traveling back to Elizabethtown, Ky., he meets his eccentric extended family of hicks (they're fat, so you know they're real good folks) and falls for an oddball mix-CD– and road-map–making flight attendant (Dunst). Sound too cute to stomach? It is — an ankle-deep coming-of-age movie made by Hollywood phonies who can't resist putting their spin on the aesthetics of red-state "simplicity."

Auteur-O-Meter: It's got all the usual Cameron Crowe-isms — a young anxious guy who's yet to fully grow up and be a man, a bewitching woman-child who comes along to save him, NPR-approved alt and classic rock and lots of slow-mo "cinematic" shots lifted from one of those "the touch … the feel … of cotton" commercials.

Bathroom Break: There's this super-extended scene of Bloom and Dunst getting to know each other by sharing deep thoughts over their cell phones. ("I feel like I've been asleep most of my life." No, really, they actually say stuff like that.)

How Long, Oh, Lord? It was cut down from its 135-minute Toronto Film Festival running time, which must explain where Susan Sarandon's role went. Glad they saved the bit where she gets slapstickishly stuck under a car's hood.

Spot the Real-Life Musicians: Old-school folkie Loudon Wainwright has a small role and new-school Skynyrd-alikes My Morning Jacket make cameo appearances. Kind of like when Eddie Vedder popped up in Singles, only less sigh-inducing.

Best Ridiculous Quote From the Press Notes: "A uniquely crafted comedy set in the key of life …"


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