There is a scene in Elizabethtown during which Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) gets his first look at his father's dead body, lying in repose at a funeral home. As he's trying to discern what mood the mortician seems to have painted his dad's face into, the soundtrack kicks in with Elton John's "My Father's Gun" and I, right on cue, get chills. It's that kind of goose bump-inducing marriage of film and music that fans have come to expect from Cameron Crowe's movies—and his latest certainly doesn't disappoint on that score.

Named for a city in western Kentucky, Elizabethtown tells the story of Drew Baylor, a shoe designer who, on the day we meet him, is fired from his job in Oregon (when his latest design flops, costing his company almost a billion dollars), is dumped by his girlfriend, contemplates suicide—and then learns his father has died in Kentucky where he was visiting family. Dad's death puts Drew's suicide plans on hold, since his distraught mother and sister insist that Drew travel to Kentucky to retrieve the body.

Drew (Orlando Bloom) meets flight attendant Claire (Kirsten Dunst) on the way to Kentucky

Drew (Orlando Bloom) meets flight attendant Claire (Kirsten Dunst) on the way to Kentucky

On his flight from Oregon to Kentucky, Drew meets preternaturally perky flight attendant Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst), who gives him pronunciation lessons (Louisville = LOO-uh-vul), driving instructions to Elizabethtown ("don't miss exit 60B; it's tricky"), and her phone number. Despite Claire's careful instructions, Drew does manage to get lost at 60B but eventually makes his way to Elizabethtown, where he's greeted in by a cadre of eccentric small-town characters—family and friends. Paul Schneider (All the Real Girls, George Washington) shines in his supporting role as cousin, single father, and wannabe rock star Jesse. And the rest of the family is populated with familiar faces—Aunt ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for language and some sexual elements)
Directed By
Cameron Crowe
Run Time
2 hours 3 minutes
Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin
Theatre Release
October 14, 2005 by Paramount
Browse All Movie Reviews By: