Tonight I decided to pop Elizabethtown into my DVD player. The first time I saw it, almost 4 years ago, I wasn't satisfied. I remember leaving the theater with all of these unanswered questions and while the movie runs for 123 minutes, I wanted more. A second viewing, with more life experience under my belt has changed my mind.
I won't describe the plot, because that would do an injustice to the film and in some ways, the plot doesn't matter. What Cameron Crowe does with this film is to expose his audience to an array of themes that is reminiscent of his film Almost Famous. We have the lost son, trying to cement his position within his family as well as within the world. A free spirit who holds the proverbial mirror to our face to help point out the flaws as well as the beauty. The loss of a loved one and the gaining of a friendship.
The movie ends with an epic road trip where our main character reconciles the pains of his recent situation while he navigates the roads of America, all with the ashes of his dead father strapped in next to him. In some ways these last scenes fully capture what Crowe's movie is trying to tell us. We might all get wrapped up in our personal dramas and hardships, but we can lessen these burdens by returning to our roots and family. A bit idealistic? Maybe. But it sure does make me want to take a road trip of my own, navigated by Kirsten Dunst.