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"ELIZABETHTOWN"
(2005) (Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Mild Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None *Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A young man tries to sort out various issues in his life, including meeting a quirky but optimistic flight attendant, following the death of his father and subsequent trip to attend a memorial and retrieve the remains.
PLOT:
Things have been better for Drew Baylor (ORLANDO BLOOM). Not only has he been informed by his boss, Phil DeVoss (ALEC BALDWIN), that his latest athletic shoe design will cost their company $972 million dollars, but his girlfriend Ellen (JESSICA BIEL) had dumped him and when he tries to kill himself, he's interrupted by a phone call.

It's his sister Heather (JUDY GREER) who's called to say that their father Mitch has died of a heart attack in his hometown of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. With Heather and their mom Hollie (SUSAN SARANDON) too distraught to go, it's up to Drew to fly there from Oregon, attend the memorial service and return with his father's remains.

Still reeling from all of the bad news, Drew isn't ready for Claire Colburn (KIRSTEN DUNST), a perky and cheery chatterbox who works as a flight attendant and won't let him be on the otherwise almost empty overnight flight. Armed with her directions and phone number in case he needs anything, Drew sets off from the airport for Elizabethtown.

There, he meets relatives such as his cousin Jessie (PAUL SCHNEIDER), who lets his young son run wild in a hands off sort of parenting approach, and old family friend Bill Banyon (BRUCE McGILL) who Hollie states swindled her husband out of money years ago. Everyone's very welcoming to Drew, but in such mass numbers and with so much attention, they're overwhelming.

Accordingly, and needing someone more like him to talk to, Drew decides to give Claire a call from his room in a hotel already full of attendees for an upcoming wedding. The two instantly bond over the phone, finding kindred spirits in each other. Since she says she has a boyfriend, he doesn't expect much, but sparks eventually fly. As he tries to get to know her better, Drew much figure out his life including how to deal with his previous business fiasco as well as all of his relatives and family friends who don't want Mitch's remains taken back to Oregon.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The dating crowd might see it as a possibility, while those who are fans of anyone in the cast might be interested in it. Younger kids will likely have no interest unless the former applies.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and some sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ORLANDO BLOOM plays an athletic shoe designer whose latest model has just cost his company nearly a billion dollars. Despondent, he nearly kills himself, but must first deal with the unexpected death of his father that allows him to get a grip on his emotions, thoughts and life. Along the way, he bonds with Claire (with whom he has sex), drinks and briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • KIRSTEN DUNST plays a cheery, optimistic and philosophical flight attendant and chatterbox who latches onto Drew from moment one and then keeps hanging around. She eventually sleeps with him, but also helps reorient his view about himself and life. She drinks some.
  • SUSAN SARANDON plays Drew's high-strung mom who's suddenly decided to throw herself into every activity possible following her husband's death. She initially stays away from his hometown memorial, but eventually travels there.
  • PAUL SCHNEIDER plays Drew's cousin, a carefree father who's excited to get his band back together to play at the memorial. He drinks some and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • ALEC BALDWIN plays Drew's boss who's shocked that his employee has cost his company nearly a billion dollars. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • BRUCE McGILL plays a family friend who doesn't want Mitch's remains removed from Elizabethtown and who reportedly swindled Drew's dad years ago.
  • JUDY GREER plays Drew's younger sister who's despondent following her father's death.
  • JESSICA BIEL plays Drew's girlfriend at work who dumps him following news of the shoe product flop.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Sexually related dialogue is present, while sex occurs off-screen and a woman is seen in a bubble bath (but nothing explicit). Various characters drink, a few are seen with tobacco-related products and a kid vomits on a man. Tense family material involves the death of a father and related funeral material, while various thematic elements are present, including a whimsical view of an aborted suicide attempt.

    Old film footage shows a person striking another person, while movies seen on TV briefly show various guns being fired (at others, but done in an old-fashioned way where there's no impact seen) and some potentially imitative behavior is present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a flashback to Christmas 2004 where Drew's family has wine with dinner.
  • Drew has a drink on a plane.
  • Drew's Aunt Dora mentions another relative who was an alcoholic with three nipples.
  • Miscellaneous people may have beer and/or drinks at a gathering.
  • Drew and Jesse have some liquor.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a hotel hallway, with one guy appearing to be drunk (he's slouched down against the wall).
  • Drew takes a beer from a bathtub full of them in another hotel room (stealing it). We then see that he has several in his robe as does a man he meets.
  • Drew has a beer.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a hotel.
  • Claire has wine.
  • Claire may be a little intoxicated (based on the way she's acting).
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a memorial service.
  • Drew has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Jesse's kid visibly vomits on another man.
  • We see Drew standing and urinating (we don't see the actual act, but hear it), all as he talks to Claire on the phone (he holds the phone outside the room when he flushes).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Although it initially appears that Claire has cheated on her never seen boyfriend with Drew, we're left with the impression that the boyfriend never existed.
  • Some viewers might not like an aborted suicide attempt being played for quirky comedy.
  • A kid throws a ham down off the table to two family dogs that then tear into it.
  • Drew takes a beer from a bathtub full of them in another hotel room (stealing it). We then see that he has several in his robe as does a man he meets.
  • Hollie says that Bill Banyon swindled her husband in business in the past (but we never know the details).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • While the following is played for comedy, anyone who's had to deal with suicidal matters may find it unsettling: Despondent over the failure of his shoe nearly costing his company $1 billion, Drew ties a large knife to the handlebar section of an exercise bike -- pointing in the direction of the rider -- and then turns it on so that we see the jabbing motion it will make to his chest. He then gets on the bike (turned off) and prepares to turn it on, but a phone call interrupts him (all played for dark comedy).
  • Drew sees his dead father's body lying in a casket (it could be unsettling for anyone recently experiencing the same or those with phobias about dead bodies).
  • Jesse's young son gets into a car and starts to drive away, with Drew racing to rescue him and stop the car (a very brief scene and played more for odd comedy than true suspense).
  • A large, papier mâché type bird (on wires above a conference room) suddenly catches on fire as it goes back and forth across the audience, eventually causing the sprinklers to come on (all played for comedy, but possibly unsettling for anyone with an unfunny experience of the same).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Drew turns through the TV channels and comes across various old movies where people fire handguns or machine guns at others, but we don't see the impact and it's done in that old-fashioned movie way.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Lynard f*cking Skynard," "What a f*cking jerk," "The sound of sh*t hitting the fan," "Son of a Mitch" (referring to Drew -- his father was Mitch), "Hotter than the hinges of Hell," "Just dial Hell and I'll answer," "Ass kickings," "You slut" and "Loser."
  • Despondent over the failure of his shoe nearly costing his company $1 billion, Drew ties a large knife to the handlebar section of an exercise bike -- pointing in the direction of the rider -- and then turns it on so that we see the jabbing motion it will make to his chest. He then gets on the bike (turned off) and prepares to turn it on, but a phone call interrupts him (all played for dark comedy).
  • A kid throws a ham down off the table to two family dogs that then tear into it.
  • Jesse's son lets out a prolonged scream (for no apparent reason).
  • As Hollie is working on a car's engine, the hood suddenly falls down onto her, trapping her there with her legs sticking out (she's not hurt and it's played for comedy that could possibly inspire a kid to close a hood on someone working on an engine -- to get laughs).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song may have at least 1 use of the "s" word, but that's not for certain.
  • A lyric from an Elton John song is "I wear my father's gun" (about the Civil War).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 4 "s" words (and another possible one), 2 hells, 1 ass, 1 damn, 4 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God," "Good Lord," "My God" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Drew's aunt jokes that it's not everyday she invites a man to her bedroom, but is doing so to show Drew family photos that are there.
  • An engaged couple kisses a day or so before their wedding, with the woman playfully saying that they're not married yet.
  • We see a groom-to-be in boxers under his robe out in the hotel hallway.
  • We see Claire in a bubble bath and can see just the top of her bare breasts in the bubbles (but nothing explicit).
  • Claire shows a little cleavage in several scenes, as does Hollie.
  • Drew and Claire passionately kiss in a hotel conference room and then go down to the floor out of the camera shot. We then hear her say that most of the sex she's had in her life isn't as personal as that kiss. The next morning, we see her retrieving her shoe from under something, while Drew is in bed, partially under the covers shirtless.
  • Seeing Claire in the same dress from the night before and leaving the hotel, a woman playfully says to her, "You slut."
  • Hollie addresses the audience at her husband's memorial, stating that she embraced a male neighbor not long ago and felt touched by his sincerity. She then says that she felt something else, "something huge...a boner" (causing everyone else to laugh). She then says "That's what I get...Boner Bob, my neighbor."
  • There's a brief comment that the sole purpose of salmon swimming upstream is for sex.
  • SMOKING
  • We see a drawing of a person with a cigarette in a long cigarette holder.
  • We see a photo of a guy with a cigarette.
  • A groom-to-be has a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Drew gets a call from his sister that their dad died in Kentucky from a heart attack.
  • Drew sees his dead father's body lying in a casket and then imagines him (the dad) getting a smile on his face (as the word that comes to mind -- seeing how he looks lying there -- is whimsical).
  • Drew's sister asks if he's cried yet and he says a little.
  • Drew's sister says she misses their dad. He asks if he was a fun guy and she says yes.
  • Seeing the flames from a gas stove burner, Drew suddenly realizes what's going to happen to his father's dead body (in cremation) and he races to the funeral home to stop that, but he's too late (a man brings out the urn of ashes).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Dealing/coping with deaths in the family.
  • Suicide attempts (played for comedy here).
  • The difference between failure and fiasco.
  • The comment that a fiasco is a folktale told to others that makes them feel better since it didn't happen to them.
  • Drew's boss says that he's ill-equipped in the philosophy of failure.
  • The mindset, "If it wasn't this, it would be something else."
  • Claire's comment that people are intrepid and carry on.
  • Drew's Aunt Dora mentions another relative who was an alcoholic with three nipples.
  • The comment that everyone's less mysterious than they think they are.
  • The comment that men see things in a box and women see things in a round room.
  • The practice of cremation.
  • Claire's comment that they're the "substitute people."
  • Claire's comment that she's impossible to forget, but hard to remember.
  • The notion of failing big and making others wonder why you're still smiling.
  • The comment that it takes time to extract joy from life.
  • Part of Drew's road trip home has him stopping at the location of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination as well as the Oklahoma City memorial for the bombing victims there.
  • The comment that those who risk win.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Drew turns through the TV channels and comes across various old movies where people fire handguns or machine guns at others, but we don't see the impact and it's done in that old-fashioned movie way.
  • Drew shows Jesse's kid and other children a videotape where a construction man promises to blow up a house only if the kids behave. We then see several repeated views of the house blowing up.
  • We briefly see old film footage (not from a fictional movie) showing one person hitting another.



  • Reviewed October 6, 2005 / Posted October 14, 2005

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