Review by PlazaQueen, Rosie, Wraith6, PandaCat
Director: Cameron Crowe
Writer: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Paula Deen
Rating: Interceptor (shoots, scores!)
It's always a problem when a movie takes place in a familiar location because you can spot the amusing mistakes ... Hailing from Hoosier Country, just across the river from the movie's setting in Kentucky, shouts of "Drew, you're going the wrong way!" burst from us. He was crossing over the bridge into Indiana immediately upon leaving the Louisville airport (It's pronounced Loo-a-ville, by the way Kirsten Dunst was right) instead of into Western Kentucky ... so he ended up in the middle of nowhere!
We were actually first drawn to this movie for two reasons:
1) Orlando Bloom was in it and no matter how mush certain people might try to deny it, they still think he's cute.
2) Paula Deen, the Food Network's Queen of Southern Cooking, was making her acting debut although if you happened to catch her own tv special about the movie, she claims Aunt Dora wasn't acting!
Drew is played by none other than Legolas himself, Orlando Bloom. Gone is his British - Australian accent well, mostly. Drew has just been told to fall on his sword literally and figuratively for the good of the corporation for whom he has just lost nearly a billion dollars, designing a revolutionary shoe which turned out to be as he succinctly puts it a fiasco.
Meditating upon the phenomenon of "last looks" he tells everyone he meets, "I'm fine," then goes home, puts all his furniture out onto the sidewalk, and constructs a jerry-rigged suicide machine. The easy way out is simply not to be. But the suicide, it turns out, is not to be ... the knife falls, then a phone call from his sister informs him of their father's death from a heart attack on a visit back to his hometown, Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Maybe it was a "stealing my thunder" type of feeling, but it forces Drew to postpone his own date with death.
On the plane, he meets Clair Colburn, played by Kirsten Dunst, a painfully perky flight attendant who manages to reach past all of Drew's issues and helps him accept the love and understanding his family pours out in this time of grief. Of course in this Cameron Crowe film, there are not a few bumps in the road to that acceptance.
Director Crowe charmingly and entertainingly captured the essence of a large southern family coping no, celebrating with the loss of a loved one. Paula Deen, the aforementioned TV queen of southern cooking, played the small role of Aunt Dora. Despite her reported lack of experience, she held forth as the center of the home, the family kitchen. She got to do what she does best cooking the "funeral food," the comfort food a southern family cooks to show their love and respect for the deceased, as well as to feed their own souls. Aunt Dora is obviously the family matriarch, and she takes Drew up to her bedroom and introduces him to his extended family through the photos on the walls and in the albums she keeps.
This film might not be a tour de force on the subject of families and death and life after fiasco, but it does touch the heart and lift the spirit. Actually, we all had trouble pinning a label on it, and none of us agreed on the labels of comedy, romance, drama, classic ... but watch it and enjoy. It's a nice film, and it has Paula Deen in it!
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