Do not visit Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown looked like the place to go. Even if you couldn’t make it to the town – you could at least make it to the closest theater to see Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst attempt to take on American and Southwestern accents. Frankly, your best bet is to travel to the town, even if it seems like a long trip, it’s definitely better than sitting through two hours of complete disappointment.

The only decent things this film offered were Bloom’s beautiful face, the not-so-typical boy meets girl love story and a sing-a-long soundtrack for any road trip.

The movie, directed by Cameron Crowe, begins with Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) failing miserably at the only thing he knows how to do – his career. After an idea he has for a new shoe goes completely downhill, and he loses the company $972 million, Drew does the most logical thing he can think of – looks for ways to kill himself. However, his sister, Heather (Judy Greer), saves his life by calling him with the terrible news that his father died. Because his mother, Hollie (Susan Sarandon) is in denial about her husbands’ death, Drew realizes he needs to keep the family together and return to his hometown, Elizabethtown, Ky., to organize his father’s funeral.

On his journey to Kentucky, Drew encounters an optimistic, spunky flight attendant, Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst), who has this strange habit of taking fake pictures by molding her fingers into a pretend camera. Claire might be adorable, but she is downright weird. Not only that but, some days she has this ear-piercing Southwestern accent that lacks the Southwest entirely and on other days, her accent sort of, disappears. Nonetheless, Drew and Claire spark up a conversation and Claire winds up drawing him a map of how to get to Elizabethtown once the plane lands.

Once Drew gets to Elizabethtown, we are introduced to way too many people who tell Drew how wonderful of a man his father was. It’s nice that these people had pleasant things to say about his father, really it is, but it could’ve been summed up in 20 minutes instead of an hour. Needless to say, Drew learns a lot about his father and about himself.

Desperate to talk to someone, Drew calls up Claire one night and they end up talking for hours, learning that they are soul mates and must admit their undying love for one another. After having his father’s body cremated, Claire sends Drew and his father’s ashes on a road trip that felt like it would never end. The sole purpose of the trip was for Drew to learn that even though his career is over, his life isn’t, and at the end, he has a delightful surprise waiting for him.

Elizabethtown had a few laughs, such as the comical way Drew tried to kill himself or the tap dance show Hollie put on in front of her husband’s friends. But to say this movie was disappointing is an understatement. The lead characters didn’t click and their accents were nearly as poor as their acting. It was almost as if Crowe had come up with a bunch of storylines, but instead of directing different movies, he threw them all into one. Even though Orlando Bloom lost his appeal of being British, he didn’t lose his good looks or charm. But don’t waste your precious time or money on this film.

Maria Hosephros can be reached at

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