The Reel Review
Just hours after he is fired from his high-profile job as a designer at a world famous shoe company and is dumped by his sexy girlfriend, a despondent Drew (Orlando Bloom) finds out his father has unexpectedly died, so he must fly to Elizabethtown, Kentucky for his memorial. During his flight he meets a chatty, intuitive flight attendant (Kirsten Dunst) with an uncanny, innate sense of direction, leading Drew on a voyage of self discovery, and romance.
Writer/director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) assembles a clever, sweet story and a charming cast – including Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and Paula Deen – set to a nostalgic backdrop of Americana that is both a love letter to families and an optimistic ode about life in America’s heartland.
Both Bloom and Dunst have an unmistakable chemistry, filling the story with poignant, relatable moments that will have you harkening back to a time not so long ago when people of different backgrounds could find commonality and kindness towards one another. And the two volume soundtrack, with heartfelt songs from folk singer Patty Griffin (who also has a brief cameo appearance at the eulogy), Crowe’s then wife (Heart guitarist) Nancy Wilson, and Tom Petty, is so epically good, you might just find yourself yearning for your own cross country road trip.
• Cameron Crowe came up with the idea for Elizabethtown during an emotionally overwhelming visit to his own father’s grave – his first visit since his father’s death 16 years prior.
• Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, who were Crowe’s first choices for the movie, reportedly fell for each other during filming and began a brief relationship after splitting from their partners Kate Bosworth and Jake Gyllenhaal.
• Elizabethtown was the big screen acting debut for TV celebrity chef Paula Deen, who plays Drew’s Aunt Dora.