Newest Review: ... and uses his exercise machine with a knife attached to the arm as a method for killing himself, its after watching the whole of the film... more
Hmmm. You wish this film was better, but it isn't
Member Name: emmajt81
Date: 20/08/09, updated on 20/08/09 (14 review reads)
Advantages: Orlando Bloom is hot. The story is a good idea but just doesn't work.
Disadvantages: Kirsten Dunst is a big disadvantage in any film to be honest
Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) feels like the world is against him. He works for a shoe company and after designing what seems to have been the 'shoe of the year' (god knows why - shoes are shoes right?) - something has gone horribly wrong with the said shoe and now Drew is out on his ear, and in a week's time the whole world will know about it. What terrible thing can go wrong with a shoe that involves firing someone and splashing it on the front cover of a business magazine with the headline 'fiasco' I don't know. But it must have been bad. So bad that his girlfriend is far too embarrassed to be with him (he has no job now after all) and consequently dumps him.
So Drew is pretty down, goes home and decides to kill himself. No, really. As we all do when we've had a bad day at work. Until he is interrupted by a phone call from his sister to tell him their father has died. Stopped in his tracks, Drew has to fly to Louisville to arrange for his father's body to be taken home. And when he gets back he will start what he finished.
OK - I am sucker for romantic films (and I do like Orlando Bloom too) but this is a ridiculous beginning for a film. I won't give all the details away but the way Drew tries to kill himself is just plain weird in itself. When he arrives in Louisville the story actually starts to get better as you realise that Drew is about to be taken on an emotional journey that will change his perceptions of success and happiness. If only the beginning of this film was more thought out it could have actually been half decent! Saying that, I have seen this film quite a few times, and I do like it, but as a reviewer - it's not really very good - I just have some bad taste and a crush on Orlando Bloom let's be honest here!
On the plane we are also pleasantly (or not so) introduced to Claire (Kirsten Dunst) who is the annoying, southern, interfering air stewardess who annoys Drew no end, but who he later calls and meets up with anyway. He has nothing better to do after all! Kirsten Dunst is quite annoying in this film - her accent changes with every sentence she says - they should have got her Orlando's voice coach because at least his American accent sounded believable! Claire is the one who shows Drew what he's missing out on, why success and money don't equal happiness and how to appreciate what he's already got in his life.
As I said the story idea is great - and in parts don't get me wrong, it's a nice little film showing you how close knit Southern families are, how family is the most important thing in life, how you can get caught up in the things that matter the least, and how you can change all that. In other parts though, it drags and some of the story is just completely unbelievable. As well as Dunst's annoying acting there are a couple of other characters whose acting is just so over the top it's a bit cringe worthy. All of this is very surprising since the film is a Cameron Crowe penned one. Which is one of the reasons I was so excited when this came out as I love Jerry Maguire and thought it would be a solid film with a good looking leading man like Orlando really pulling it off.
Orlando Bloom is good in parts - he captures some emotion towards the end of the film for his father and that comes across as believable. At no point in this film is Claire very believable though. With a different actress she would have been a great character but Dunst's Claire is too bolshy and annoying to be lovable to the viewers and you struggle to see what Drew sees in her. I will say that the soundtrack is great and when Drew is doing his road trip home after the funeral at the end of the film, the song choices are just magnificent. This is something Cameron Crowe never seems to get wrong in his films, but unfortunately he got a lot of other things wrong here.
So I don't really know what to rate this. I like it because I'm a sucker for a romance and a sucker for a happy ending. I'm also a fan of Orlando Bloom who I think is very underrated as an actor. His performance in the Calcium Kid is just great. I would like to give this a 3 out of 5 just because of that but really it only deserves a 2 and a half for effort. So I'll give it a fair rating - 2 out of 5. If it's on TV one day watch it and see what you think but its probably not worth wasting your hard earned money on.
Summary: 3 out of 5 for effort but 2 out of 5 overall. Disappointing.