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Elizabethtown

Release Date: October 14, 2005
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Movie of the Day for Monday, September 20, 2004
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The couple thoughtfully left room for Orlando's invisible friend Rodrick.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/166 David Mumpower Cameron Crowe can do no wrong. This is the film for his father that Almost Famous was for his mother. The sentimental nature of the project is impossibly winning.
4/85 Kim Hollis I laughed. I cried. I was elated. I can't wait to see it again.
40/60 Les Winan Extremely disappointing. Just not what you expect from a Cameron Crowe film. Orlando Bloom seems to have about two facial expressions. Thank god for the always great Kirsten Dunst.

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There is perhaps no better director/screenwriter today who better understands the quirky workings of romance than Cameron Crowe. After breaking onto the scene at the tender age of 25 with the screenplay for the ensemble comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (and its de facto sequel The Wild Life), his first directorial effort, Say Anything…, showed an unexpected level of maturity and tenderness. More than just a simple '80s teen flick, it is not only one of the most quotable films in history, but also one that has held up well over the years and through repeated viewings. Roger Ebert might have put it best when he said, "Say Anything… is one of those rare movies that has something to teach us about life. It doesn't have a 'lesson' or a 'message', but it observes its moral choices so carefully that it helps us see our own. That such intelligence could be contained in a movie that is simultaneously so funny and so entertaining is some kind of a miracle."

Three years down the line in 1992, Crowe proved that his intuitions about love in all its many forms had developed even more with his charming film Singles. Set in Seattle during the era of the grunge explosion, the film was no blockbuster but is notable for its wonderful ensemble cast, including BOP favorite Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgewick, Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon and Bill Pullman. It also featured acting turns by both Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell.

Though Crowe had achieved critical acclaim up to this point, his first film to really break out as a bona fide "blockbuster" was Jerry Maguire. Set in the world of sports agency, it was a love story that appealed to both men and women as the chemistry between Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger was undeniable, and the outstanding dialogue in Cameron Crowe's script was primarily responsible. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, with Cuba Gooding, Jr. winning for Best Supporting Actor. Sadly, it proved to be his only good career choice as he's strung together a bunch of awful films since then.

Next up was Crowe's coup de grace, the marvelous love letter to rock 'n' roll that is Almost Famous. The film was a mostly autobiographical account of Crowe's teenaged experience as a writer for Rolling Stone. While at first glance it told the story of a fictional band named Stillwater, it also has many more subtle subtexts of romance, as "band-aid" Penny Lane is beloved both by guitarist Russell Hammond and the young writer William Miller. Exquisitely written, Crowe's original screenplay was awarded an Oscar. Ebert is again worthy of quote here, as his review opens with the following statement: "Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it."

Next came a film that was a bit of a departure for the director, as he adapted the Spanish film Abre Los Ojos for a North American retelling. That film was a genre busting sci-fi psychological romance that again brought Crowe together with Tom Cruise. Though it may be the least well-received of the Crowe oeuvre, it is nonetheless another assessment of romance, especially the notion of wishing something to be true.

Now Crowe is returning for a film that falls more closely in line with his traditional canon. In fact, the premise gives a distinctly Say Anything… vibe. It's the story of an Oregon man named Drew Baylor who is fired after he causes the shoe company for which he works to lose millions of dollars. Adding to his misery, his girlfriend dumps him. Somehow, he finds new purpose when he is asked to return to his father's small town home in Elizabethtown, Kentucky to fulfill the man's dying wishes. On his flight to Kentucky, Drew meets a flight attendant named Claire Colburn. He falls in love with her and it is this romance that puts him back on track.

Crowe is working with two very hot young actors to fill the lead roles. Orlando Bloom, elf extraordinaire and compatriot of Captain Jack Sparrow, is onboard for the lead role of Drew Baylor. Playing the role of the girl who captures his heart is Spider-Man hottie Kirsten Dunst. Thus far, reports are that the screenplay is outstanding, so it definitely appears that Crowe's next film is one that should be placed high on radar. It's certainly on BOP's. (Kim Hollis/BOP)


March 30, 2004
Susan Sarandon has joined the cast of Elizabethtown, and will play the mother of the Orlando Bloom character. Also in talks for roles are Judy Greer, Jessica Biel and Loudon Wainwright III. (Kim Hollis/BOP)




Vital statistics for Elizabethtown
Main Cast Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon
Supporting Cast Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Gaillard Sartain
Director Cameron Crowe
Screenwriter Cameron Crowe
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.elizabethtown.com/
Rating PG-13
Running Time 123 minutes
Screen Count 2,517
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



Comparison films for Elizabethtown
Title
Date
Opening
Adjusted Opening
Screens
PSA
Adj PSA
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Mult
Vanilla Sky 12/14/0125.02 26.70 2742 9123.00 9365.2 100.61 107.38 3.96
Jerry Maguire 12/13/9617.08 23.30 2531 6748.00 8854.8 153.75 209.76 9.00
Almost Famous 9/22/006.93 7.75 1193 5809.00 6250.9 32.47 36.32 4.22
Singles 9/18/924.18 6.07 1073 3896.00 5445.0 18.47 26.83 4.42
…say anything 4/14/894.06 6.13 1113 3648.00 5302.9 20.04 30.28 4.94


     


 
 

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