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Elizabethtown: Rent "Say Anything" Instead


This weekend was, in terms of entertainment, a total bust.

First, I decided to check out a movie on Friday night. After reading Matt's review of Domino I decided to give gun-toting Keira Knightley a miss in favour of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown. Two hours and ten bucks I shan't see again.

Now, my sister Sam and her friend Sarah both thoroughly enjoyed it, and I must acknowledge that there will be plenty of people who will like or possibly even love this movie. The endearing small-town characters, the (completely unbelievable) romantic moments, the soundtrack (which was probably designed with more care than the script); some people like their cheese nice and thick.

I'm not so generous with suspension of disbelief. I admit I am one of those people who talks during movies if it isn't doing anything for me, and at one point I actually said aloud (incredulously) "who does that?" after Orlando (as leading man Drew) makes a move on the ever controversial Kirsten Dunst (doing a turn here as friendly flight attendant Claire) in a manner no actual person would ever, ever attempt. Fromage.

Cameron Crowe wrote and directed the film, and the script is definitely where the problems begin. There could be a quirky comedy with some deeper resonance in here somewhere, if only he'd taken the time to, oh, I don't know, edit? Rewrite? Do something other than plan the soundtrack? Meaningful classic rock does not replace a plot!

Alison over at Torontoist recently pondered how Orlando Bloom got famous, and mentions Cameron Crowe's plummet into the lower depths of mediocrity (which she attributes to the shunning of Eric Stoltz).

As it stands, there are certainly a few choice moments. Susan Saradon does some impressive things with her quirky mom role, including a stand-up routine at her husband's memorial service that involves amateur tap-dancing. Kirsten makes a road trip map anyone would die for, the wholesome small-town folk of the titular Elizabethtown share their wisdom about life and family in a hardly-saccharine-at-all way; but the whole thing just refuses to hang together.

It's just sloppy, especially for someone capable of Singles and Almost Famous. If you want mushy romance, do yourself a favour and rent Say Anything - drool over moody John Cusack. It'll be cheaper and far more satisfying.

But no, my suffering was not yet complete. Saturday, my sister and her friend (who shall remain nameless because she thinks I'm mad at her, and I'm totally not - it's not her fault) managed to convince me to forgo my already-donned pjs in the hope of scoping out some hot boys (who wouldn't be wearing the usual uniform).

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So I dropped a tenner on cover at The Opera House at Queen and Broadview, for the10th annual Snowboard Canada Party. Inside, a bunch of snowboarding enthusiasts stood (the room, downstairs at least, was unfortunately chairless) gazing at the two giant screens showing video after video after video of, you guessed it, snowboarders. The videos were accompanied by an incredibly loud potpourri of bad music (the exception being Iggy Pop's "I am a Passenger" which they played twice).

I take no issue with boarders or their videos, but, I'm sorry, that stuff gets old after about two minutes. The occasional breaks to hand out prizes provided no relief, as the music continued the assault. And no, there was no free booze with which to numb my pain, or snow fiends trying to buy any for me, either.

I tried to stick it out until the promised band (Big Time Charlie) went on, but as midnight came and went, I refused to suffer further. I made a wise choice - my sister (whose music taste I trust, despite her questionable tolerance for poorly plotted rom-coms) reports that they played poor metal covers.

I did bump into a friend of mine, which was nice, but all in all, I lost twenty bucks (if you include metro fare) this weekend.

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I am so sticking to Cinematheque screenings until Harry Potter 4 comes out.

image from www.skiingbc.com


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