Elizabethtown Cameron Crowe

Apparently, Cameron Crowe is planning to completely rework his latest film before it gets a theatrical release, so the TIFF '05 version of Elizabethtown was a work-in-progress. It's a sprawling film that feels like several movies crammed into one. The story follows Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) as he goes to Kentucky to deal with his eccentric relatives in the wake of his father's death. Drew is trying to hold everything together knowing that he is on the verge of being publicly humiliated for a colossal failure at his job designing shoes for a Nike-esque company. On his journey, he meets a perky stewardess named Claire (Kirsten Dunst) who gives him a new lease on life. Tacked onto the end of this overlong film is a sort of love letter to America in the form of a rock'n'roll road trip. The many storylines never quite connect, with the quirky family drama and the optimistic love story being particularly incongruous. Orlando Bloom lacks the emotional sincerity and depth to carry off this lead role, so while he's always easy on the eyes, he's never really believable. Kirsten Dunst does pretty well, but has to deliver quite a bit of cheese in her sunny saviour role. There are a few big cameos in the supporting cast, including an over-the-top Susan Sarandon as Drew's high-strung mother, and a very funny Alec Baldwin as Drew's boss, a perfect Phil Knight knockoff who laments the large sum of money his protégé has cost the company. Director Crowe clearly does have some more work to do on this film, because despite its pockets of nice moments and interesting ideas, Elizabethtown just doesn't come together in any coherent way. (Paramount)