The Universe and Me

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Substitute People

Movie: Elizabethtown. I remember when this was released, the reviews were unkind, so I was prepared to dislike it or at best, find it painful to watch and severely flawed. Instead, I really liked it. For the first half hour, Orlando Bloom’s efforts at an American accent are distracting, but I got used to his inherent Britishness seeping through. The most confusing character was Susan Sarandon’s. Her husband’s death happened a few days previously, yet she’s hyperactively made good use of that time (perhaps she didn’t sleep), and none of it spent grieving. I also didn’t understand the significance of mentioning the blue suit several times for what turned out to be no reason. I don’t know if the film editor was in awe of or afraid of Cameron Crowe or what. Otherwise, there’s a sense of realness about the movie. Which means it succeeds in sweeping up the viewer in the lives and emotions of its characters. Kirsten Dunst is quirky and spunky and charming, even if I sometimes wondered about her sanity. I greatly appreciated the messages she shares with Bloom. That work failures mean so little compared to what’s truly important in life. And her theories of “substitute people” which I related to. Add an excellent soundtrack which tied in with the themes perfectly. I should be so lucky to have a band play “Freebird” at my funeral. I recommend this movie, especially to my niece Shannen, an Orlando fan.


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