Hang In There, Buddy

by robbiefreeling
September 14, 2005 4:07 AM
4 Comments
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elizabethtown1.jpg

Dear Cameron Crowe,

We've been hearing all the bad buzz coming out of the Toronto lion's den about your upcoming latest sure-to-be masterwork, Elizabethtown, and we just wanted to let you know: hang in there, buddy, we're with you every step of the way. We'll be first in line to see your 138-minute rom-com opus on opening night, sucking in our breath to catch a glimpse of everyone's least favorite current heartthrob, Or(b)lando Bloom, taking a stab at playing a Zach Braffable dead-eyed American loner learning about life, death, and love en route to his father's funeral; waiting to hear every last bon mot as it drips right from your ballpoint pen onto the page and registers in our ears with a ring of "Eureka! That's screenwriting! Human nature is so funny sometimes!" We can't wait to see how you'll pump and inflate every last page of your overstuffed screenplay with inspirational monologues masquerading as snatches of off-the-cuff cool; how you'll try to cram, crease, and fold Kirsten Dunst's talents into yet another gloriously "spontaneous" free-spirit stand-by-her-man female second lead part; how you'll reduce Susan Sarandon to spouting some wonderfully irreverent cool-mom motivational speechifying (Sarandon in Brad Silberling's unforgettable Moonlight Mile: "You've given us all a real truth enema.")

Don't let anyone tell you different: the answer to Film Comment's Fall 2000 cover query: "Is Almost Famous the greatest rock and roll movie ever made?" is a resounding "Yes!" Not only did that career-definer redefine contemporary cinema, it made the titles Last Waltz, This Is Spinal Tap, Gimme Shelter, heck even Georgia, fade into the deepest recesses of memory. I admired how Almost Famous was not in the least self-aggrandizing, that it barely made narrative sense, and that you tricked seemingly everyone by coating your bullshit mythologizing of your own past with a thin, distancing layer of geek chic. Kudos also to your near-plane crash scene, which tidily allowed all your characters to blurt out their unexpressed feelings (I really like the dude who finally spoke for the first time and said: "I'm gay!" and then never spoke again); there's your much-deserved Oscar right there.

So to all those who doubt the subversive brilliance of The Crowe, let's not forget these moments, or those from the teenage girl-porn Say Anything, the grunge and Starbucks tribute Singles, the wonderfully un-moralizing and certainly not screechy Jerry Maguire, and of course, the existential sci-fi to beat them all, Vanilla Sky. Trust me, Elizabethtown will undoubtedly follow in their footsteps. Let's all raise glasses to our generation's Billy Wilder! When Elizabethtown fails, we'll be right there, cheering you on.

Yours truly,
Some guy at Reverse Shot

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4 Comments

  • Looker | September 16, 2005 4:03 AMReply

    Remember how, in "Singles," Kyra Sedgwick gets pregnant via Campbell Scott, and they worry about whether she should have an abortion--and then suddenly she's in a car accident, and miscarries, and they don't have to decide about the abortion anymore? That was such a courageous way to resolve that dilemma. Not to mention totally believable.

  • clarencecarter | September 15, 2005 10:43 AMReply

    I hate to burst your bubbles, but in a very public act of lowering expectations CC got up at the front of the screenings here and announced it was getting cut by 30-minutes....is there even time? Does anyone kind of like Vanilla Sky except me?

  • StayPuft | September 15, 2005 10:21 AMReply

    I feel three and a half apples coming on.

  • eshman | September 14, 2005 12:37 PMReply

    I can't wait to see the latest visual accompaniment to the soundtrack of our lives. Just when I was thinkin' bout taking out the old dual cassette recorder and makin' a mix of my favorite fall tunes, Cameron's gonna save me the trouble. Maybe he'll introduce me to some new talent like Belle & Sebastian or Stereolab to go along with those classic Who and Stones tunes. I can't wait to hear that skilled and unique ear of his at work, and to see what beautiful images he's chosen to supplement the tunes. I hope he's got some shots from the car, with trees and tall building passing by, or just clouds moving right to left, maybe sped up a bit, perhaps even Matt Dillon in hair extensions and flannel again...