This was a flaming disaster. Has writer/director Cameron Crowe drank some kind of dangerous elixir that is causing him to make completely awful and shite movies all of a sudden?
Vanilla Sky was horrible from start to finish and now Crowe delivers Elizabethtown, which is even worse. I guess with Crowe and company I expect the film to be much, much better than what I witnessed, but after these two recent duds, maybe I should rethink that?
Elizabethtown isn’t funny, it’s not emotionally engaging, not a single character has any depth—it’s basically one of the most artificial and phony films I’ve sat through in a long while.
A big problem is the male lead, Orlando Bloom. The man is an awful actor. I don’t care how pretty he is or how he can make the cheeks blush when you look at him—the man has absolutely no screen chemistry as a leading man. After seeing Kingdom of Heaven earlier in the year and now Elizabethtown I’m convinced that Bloom will only do a movie no harm if he is in “elfin” mode ala Lord of the Rings. The funniest scene in the entire movie is when Bloom attempts to cry. Now that was comedy!
Crowe’s script is a hodgepodge of story directions—does he know what kind of story he wants to tell here? There is way too much bland narration from Bloom that comes of as smug and adds nothing to the film (as most narration does—it’s lazy screenwriting the vast majority of the time). The film is too long as well but that goes into the nest that Crowe was unsure what kind of story he wanted to tell.
And let me address the use of music in the film. Crowe pumps Elizabethtown full of so many musical background moments it’s as if he can only reveal his characters by finding some obscure/classic song from his or his wife Nancy Wilson’s record collection. Jeez, man, if you want to make videos go make videos, I was hoping to watch a movie here.
I’m not even going into Kirsten Dunst and the "there one sentence, gone the next" Kentucky accent of hers. Why even try to do a Southern accent, any accent, if you aren’t going to stick with it for the FULL movie? Plus, the completely ridiculous scene with Susan Sarandon at a funeral eulogy. I mean, tap dancing for God’s sake?! I think Crowe has lost his mind with that bit of nonsense.
I did like seeing Tulsan Gailard Sartain, the Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma and My Morning Jacket showing up as “Ruckus” to do “Freebird” at the earlier mentioned memorial service. But that’s not enough to save this disaster of a film.
Elizabethtown might be the worst film of the year, considering the people involved, its high profile release and the amount of sheer train wreck quality it maintains throughout.