An eventually good film — 6 years ago
A 20-something California kid walks around in a daze where funny yet depressing things happen to him while he realizes his failure as a human being and simultaneously finds out that his distant parent figure has just died unexpectedly. He meets a cute, spunky girl with good music taste along the way who he ends up spending countless hours with.
Sounds strangely familiar. Garden State perhaps? Certainly there are differences between the two movies, but the overall style and mood of the first half of the film seemed to be a desperate attempt to attract the countless faux-indie kids who thrive on dark humor mixed with cute love interests and a good soundtrack.
But maybe it’s not so unacceptable to copy a successful movie. The entire 80’s and 90’s were filled with romantic comedies based on the Sleepless In Seattle, fate-brought-us-together idea, and not too many people are complaining. Maybe it’s just that the Zach Braff formula is still fairly new to us so it still seems like a cheap knockoff.
Luckily, Elizabethtown sets itself apart in the second half. A heartfelt tribute to a fallen Southern hero comes to life. Kirsten Dunst’s character shows a mind behind the smile. The best “live” performance of Freebird I’ve ever seen. And an Americana-laced road trip that lightens the mood despite Orlando Bloom’s lacking versatility.
This one is worth watching for the occasional well-timed laugh, the “cute but not too cute” factor and, of course, the good music.