Elizabethtown (2005) — Horrible, awful whimsy

“Can you imagine an entire life wrapped up in a shoe?”

Kyle’s rating: All reviewing occurs in real time

Kyle’s review: I’ll never truly . . .

Okay, this is picking up five minutes after typing the start of that first sentence. Sitting in my chair, watching the beginning of Elizabethtown, I realized something after the first few minutes: this film would be best enjoyed with any kind of distraction(s).

Absolutely everything about Elizabethtown (thus far; Bloom is being talked at by Dunst on the airplane right now) is recycled from prior Cameron Crowe films. And everything that worked in those previous films either doesn’t work at all or is so clearly recycled that any charm it once possessed is completely negated. It’s very weird and sort of disconcerting: All the musical montages (now taken over and done much better on television shows like House) are lame, and OH EM GEE Kirsten Dunst just ran the “60B” thing so into the ground that I would seriously have shot her if I were Orlando Bloom. Yikes, ick, gag me with a spoon.

If I remember correctly (and some quick research confirms my memory) Ashton Kutcher was originally meant for the role. I guess it was written for Bloom but then he couldn’t do it so it was going to be Kutcher but then that didn’t work out (it was either lack of charm with Dunst or lack of actual talent on Kutcher’s part: you’ll have to decide). I had been thinking that Kutcher would have been the worst thing ever. Now I’m not so sure. I mean, this cousin guy (Loudon Wainwright) is pretty much just a mini-Ashton with super-sideburns, so whatever. But maybe the general insanity of this odd cinematic universe would make some semblance of sense if Kutcher was our narrator/wanderer. You know, in like a “two wrongs make a right” kind of situation.

Dude, the little kid just vomited on some old guy. What is going on? So maybe nothing could have saved this? Vanilla Sky was supposed to be awful but it wasn’t, really. But this is awful.

Oh, no. As soon as the entire populace of Elizabethtown greets a driving Bloom and even points his proper way to the funeral home, I finally knew for sure that this was horrible. Horrible. Horrible! What is going on? Why is this so absolutely wretched, lame, unfunny, disconnected, painful, and interminably endless? I don’t quite understand. I’m curious if perhaps all the films of this type and riffs on this plot and personal experiences I’ve accumulated until now have caused anything dependent on the vagaries of small-town charm to be completely played out. The kid tossing the big roast thing to the dogs? Awful.

“The word is ‘whimsical.'” Final nail in the coffin. I had been lamenting the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond, and often claimed that I would have preferred Orlando Bloom as a young Bond. Now I’m not sure. I mean, he would have just had to move around and be good-looking and let the bullets and explosions and the Bond girls do most of the work, but I don’t know.

Please never see Elizabethtown. Oh, no, I wish I wasn’t sitting here watching it. I’m going to finish writing this review and send it in before I even finish watching the movie, but believe me: every word I’m writing is valid. It’s just awful. Kirsten Dunst with an accent, Orlando Bloom attempting to be charming and lost, and all of Crowe’s tricks just seem to have accumulated dust. All of which could be easily forgiven if the dialogue wasn’t as totally lame as it is.

I honestly wonder what happened here. As someone vested in creativity, I feel like I need to learn something valuable from this train wreck. I’m not sure if I can right now, but for sure over the next week or so I’m going to be thinking about this. And especially how I can con someone or something out of the $3 it cost me to rent this.

Don’t ever watch this ever. Please.

One comment

  1. Watched this during a girls’ movie night. Because of this and a couple others, two of us made a pact to not let another member of the group pick the movie again – she would end up not liking the movies either so it wasn’t that unfair.

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