The other day I watched "Elizabethtown" and it really did not do it for me. Cameron Crowe's directorial debut was "Say Anything" and he must have said everything he had to say in that movie, cuz he hasn't done anything near that level of quality since. He has chosen to work with Kate Hudson and Tom Cruise (twice!) which should tell you something about what he understands about acting. One thing I've noticed in all his films (other than "Say Anything") is that the guy has no idea how to portray genuine emotion, which is why his soundtracks are so extensive: "Here, this song will tell you what you should be feeling now."
The biggest problem with "Elizabethtown" is its 2 hour and 3 minute running time. There may be some romcoms that need that much time, but I doubt it. Let's face it, the fun of watching romantic comedies is watching these people that we know should be together try to figure it what we know. If it takes more than ninety minutes than you are just too stupid for me to care whether you find true love or not.
Kirsten Dunst's character is evidently supposed to be quirky and endearing, but she was just weird and annoying, maybe mentally ill. She had an invisible camera that she kept taking snapshots with until I wanted to strangle her with the invisible strap.
And logistically this movie made no sense at all. In just a few days the grieving widow Susan Sarandon (way too good for this celluloid turd) took auto repair, organic cooking, plumbing repair and several other classes including tap dance -- which she learned well enough to perform at her husband's memorial service. (Hey, we all have our own ways of expressing emotion, some people tap dance, Cameron Crowe plays Tom Petty records.)
Speaking of that memorial service I really don't think any band in the world would keep playing "Freebird" after the auditorium caught fire, the sprinklers came on and all the guests left.
Oh, and scattering your dad's ashes all over the motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated (while U2 plays "Pride (in the Name of Love)" of fricking course) looks like it should have some meaning -- until Orlando Bloom trivializes it by scattering some more of the ashes on a rusty metal dinosaur in some forgotten roadside attraction, and you realize -- if you haven't by now -- Cameron Crowe has no idea what he's doing.
This movie ends with a long drawn-out road trip that Kirsten sends Orlando on from Kentucky to Nebraska with a series of perfectly-timed mix CDs she made for him. This would never in a million years time out right, of course. She would have been waiting for days for him to show up at that Farmer's Market in Nowhere, Nebraska if Orlando had decided to skip that one step or if he hadn't been the one that found those clues in dog books and shoes that she left for him.
Enough. There's a lot more to hate about this movie but I gotta stop somewhere. I don't want to write a completely negative review so I will say that Paula Deen does an almost credible job of playing herself.