There is a familiar calm, a resounding thought that “Yeah its just like that” which flows through you when you spend two hours in the world of Cameron Crowe. Crowe has made many critical and commercial successes in his career, and some that just seem to fall to the sad land of underappreciated gems. Which brings us to Elizabethtown (2005), a truly charming tale of Drew Baylor played well by Orlando Bloom, a rising star in the shoe design industry. When his star comes crashes to earth with a gamble on an outrageous shoe design becomes a fiasco of monumental proportion. Arriving home after being shown the door at work, Drew decides to end it all by attaching a butcher knife to an elliptical machine, got to give Crowe credit for creativity here, it’s Psycho at the gym. Drew is interrupted by a cell phone ringing off the hook, finally giving in he gets the call we all dread. Mitch Baylor, Drew’s father had passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack while visiting his extended family in Kentucky. Leaving behind Drew, his younger sister Heather played by Judy Greer, and Hollie his mother sublimely portrayed by Susan Sarandon. Hollie realizing she has no clue to live life without her husband is sent into a whirlwind of trying to live life to it’s fullest. Drew is tasked with going to Elizabethtown Kentucky to retrieve his father and bring him home to Oregon. A not so easy task, since his family holds a little tinge of resentment for Hollie for stealing him away and moving him to California, a running joke through the film since they only lived in California for 18 months twenty some years ago. Drew reluctantly places his suicide on hold to make the trip, vow that he will get it taken care of and get back on the bike and finish himself off. While flying to Louisville we meet Claire our stewardess on the red-eye, that amazingly only seems to have them on board. Claire expertly brought to life by Kirsten Dunst, is a smart, full of life, talkative, and caring individual. Who instantly feels connected to the sullen and quiet Drew. She decides to draw him and map to get to the small town, as well as including her home phone, cell phone, and auto club numbers on the back, now that is service. Drew arrives to find what family really means, and how much his father  means to the whole town. A colorful cast of characters make up the extended family and friends drawn together to celebrate Mitch’s life. The film follows Drew along as he realizes, there is more to life than failure, so as family, love, and a true father son road trip. As in other of Crowe’s work such as Almost Famous, another of my true favorites, the film style completely immerses you and brings you in to his world, to see the stars on a hot southern night, and smell the home cooking Paula Dean is fixing up in the kitchen. I think everyone can find something or someone in this story to relate to, we all have that one relative or many relatives. Crowe writes the life he has lived and that we all have lived, a shows us the raw feelings and lessons we may not take away when deep in the situation. In standard Cameron Crowe tradition the movie also comes along with a truly fantastic soundtrack, songs that will stick with you for years to come to chase you down memory lane.  Treat yourself to two hours in Elizabethtown Kentucky and spend the evening with old family and friends, it’s well worth your time.

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