Saturday, October 29, 2005

REVIEW: Elizabethtown (short)

Finally did get a chance to see this recently. Just about everyone who's written about this, one way or another, has said all I have to say much better than I probably could, so this'll be a brief one:

It's not good. I like Cameron Crowe and all his little recurring tics and hangups, but this just doesn't work. In relating the story of a big-city failure who returns to his quirky small-town family roots for a funeral and is spiritually renewed by said quirkiness and a budding romance with a free-spirited girl, it reads a little too similar to "Garden State," which was substantially superior.

The much-publicized "trimdown" from it's original length supposedly has helped the film in the eyes of those who saw it in it's "long" form, but for me it leaves the film a series of overly short would-be vignettes. Orlando Bloom, at least, proves he has the chops to work outside his so-far exclusive engagement in the realm of period fantasy, but Kirsten Dunst is eventually grating as a kind of full-throttle embodiment of Crowe's idealized female form: A supernaturally-perky blonde Tinkerbell of limitless resources who throws herself joyfully into the job of forcing a hero to find himself and fall in love with her.

A MAJOR flaw, cut down but still held over from the "problem" cut, is that the film contains a kind of instant-sequel to itself framed as a clumsy 4th act: Following the resolution to the main story, Bloom's character sets out on a road trip using a detour-laden map compiled by Dunst's character... complete with narration, instructions on where to eat and who to meet and, naturally, a Cameron Crowe-issue pop soundtrack. It's a cute idea, but it needs a movie of it's own.

Bottom line: Continue to ignore the existance of this one until it hits DVD.


1 comment:

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