After causing the Oregon shoe company he works for to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, Drew Baylor (Bloom) is fired for his mistake, and promptly also dumped by his girlfriend, Ellen (Biel). On the verge of suicide, Drew is oddly given a new purpose in life when he is brought back to his family’s small Kentucky hometown of Elizabethtown following the death of his father, Mitch, as it falls to him to make sure that his dying wishes are fulfilled. On the way home, Drew meets a flight attendant, Claire Colburn (Dunst), with whom he falls in love, in a romance that helps his life get back on track.
If you like relationship movies with thoughtful and witty dialog, this movie is for you. Writer and Director Cameron Crowe has once again given us deeply lovable and well-developed characters. By the end of the film, I felt as though I knew these people and would miss them after leaving the theater.
The bulk of this film takes place in Elizabethtown, a small town near Louisville where everyone knows each other. Much of the humor centers around the contrast between small town people and city people. But the humor is never degrading or prejudiced. On the contrary, the portrayal of “middle America” is refreshing to see. Yes, there are people and stories to tell in the “fly-over states.” Although, I would have liked to see the morals portrayed match up with the south’s highly faith-based society. Crowe does pay tribute to America with an enjoyable father/son road trip sequence accompanied by soundtrack worthy music selections.
The movie was a little long and dragged in some parts where the point had already been made. Some might think this film is too sappy, but I say what’s wrong with that. We need movies that remind us of the good in people, the importance of family and the fragility of life.
I almost thought this movie would take the high road and not have the couple sleep together, but alas, Hollywood morals strike again. There were several instances of inappropriate language and sexual situations that make this film not appropriate for family viewing.