[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B000BKTAYQ][/pullquote] Romantic comedies are some of the more obviously and recognisably formulaic genres in film. They inevitably star a good-looking man and woman, who fall in love after a series of often slapstick and overblown events. Where comic book and action films are aimed at young, male adults, and animated are aimed at children, romantic comedies are aimed squarely at the female population. It is of course an inherently sexist approach, assuming that all women want to see rom-coms, or that only women will enjoy them, however in defence of the studios, it’s a strategy that often reaps huge financial rewards as they are consistently high-achievers, often regardless of quality.
Elizabethtown luckily doesn’t quite sit comfortably into the formula of the rom-com, but is rather a ˜quirky rom-com’ that means it has a similar storyline ˜guy is dragged back from the brink by the love of a good woman,’ but has the added element of a cast of odd-ball characters, who despite their charm (or lack of) all show to him that life is worth it. Elizabethtown sees Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) sees his career as prominent trainer developer disintergrate in front of him and is on the verge of suicide when he finds out that his father has died. This spurs him on to help his family one last time before going back to his original plan. When he arrives in Kentucky, he meets his extended family and more importantly, flight stewardess Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst).
First thing to note is that the soundtrack to Elizabethtown is incredible. Director Cameron Crowe is always highly regarded for his unique soundtracks and this is no exception. It’s so good that they had to release it over two albums, and the soft rock and folk accompanies Drew throughout his trials and tribulations. Second thing to note, is that Bloom’s accent is not terrible. It’s not great, but when you have an actor like him, you take what you can get. As mentioned, it’s a quirky rom-com, and the supporting cast are suitably neurotic and amusing throughout and help to create a great sense of place, which is the films strongest asset.
Even Orlando Bloom is bearable as the lead, even if he clearly needs a cup of Nescafe to perk himself up from time to time. Overall it is a pleasant experience that lacks the edge of Crowe’s better work, but it’s certainly a step-up from the slew of regurgitated rom-coms that Hollywood is prone to produce.