Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A surfeit of whimsy.


Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown got its first major review via Variety. I really want to like this film--especially after the worthless Vanilla Sky--but after skimming Leslie Felperin's write up it's looking rough. Here's why:
  1. Look at the second paragraph:
    Although presumably in development for some time, basic set-up sounds like a sunnier, studio version of Zach Braff's indie hit "Garden State," which beat "Elizabethtown" to the punch by a year and a half. "State" was a similar tale of a depressed young man who travels back East for a parent's funeral and ends up finding love with a gorgeous, hip chick. But where Braff's pic was riddled with slacker angst and featured characters with jagged edges, nearly everyone in "Elizabethtown" is as gosh-darn nice as a warm sunny day.

    Wait, the characters in Garden State were edgy? This is Diet Garden State? Hoo boy.

  2. Worse: the opening paragraph.
    "[E'town's] busy, neo-screwball script--about a shoe designer planning his father's funeral in a Kentucky town while falling for a perky stewardess met en route--suffers from arch editing and a surfeit of whimsical subplots."

  3. It's bad enough that Orlando is the leading man... But Cameron has to up it and make him a shoe designer. Worst.

  4. The film's running time is 138 minutes. For a zany carpe diem rom-com, that's a lot of whimsy.

11 Comments:

At 5:45 PM, Blogger girish said...

sounds lethal.

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

a stupid-ass Variety review shouldn't have anything to do with the excitement of watching a new film by a guy whose films you've liked in the past (with your exception of "Vanilla Sky" of course -- notice i put "your" in there as i find the film to be fine).

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Notice most of my complaints are facts. I can promise you that 138 minutes is too fucking long. I despise Orlando Bloom. When I find out that his character is a shoe designer... That's just craptastic.

As for Mr. Crowe's past films... they're on hold right now. I refuse to watch them out of fear that I'll realize they're actually not very good at all. I caught Jerry Maguier on TV the other day and, man, that movie is bad. As is Singles. And the last time I watched Almost Famous... it was, er, wilting. (I think say anything... is still fantastic.)

It's not just a Variety review that has me worried.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

how do you know it's craptastic? how many movies have shoe designers in them? maybe it's an interesting use of a job. and how do you know that 138 minutes is too long for the movie? i just don't understand this. they might be facts, but they are still hearsay. if someone told you that "8 1/2" was 138 minutes long would that matter?

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Tell me you did not just compare Cameron to Freddie.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

Run times, my man -- and you're pulling a usual aversion tactic of not actually answering the questions.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Ben said...

OK: with Cameron less is more.
When going for romantic comedy zaniness 2 hours and 20 mins is a long ass time-- esp. when where Cam and his whimsy is concerned.
(I've heard is this is not the final cut, Cameron is still cutting. This sounds good.)
As for the shoe designer part-- it's an adorable bit of business that reeks of fussy writerdom. Based on the trailer and now these little bits... It's bothersome. I'm fearing a Pixie Stick OD. (But this is actually good. Get my expectations nice and low and maybe Mr. Crowe can win me over.)

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

how does the trailer look like rom-com zaniness? in the vein of "say anything" whose run time is 100 minutes for those of you keeping score at home.

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger girish said...

hey ben,
it's showing over the weekend in toronto but i don't have tix for it.
gotta say: maybe i'm getting more humorless as i get older but i thought "jerry maguire" was way too long and "almost famous" kinda fun but saccharine-sticky.
my favorite crowe is still 80s crowe--"fast times" (though he didn't direct) and "say anything"....haven't seen "vanilla sky" (liked the original, afraid to see the remake).

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Girish, that was my problem with my most recent AF viewing... it was just too golden. I'll always have a warm spot for it... I'm just worried about future viewings.

 
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