*/**** Image B- Sound A- Extras D+
starring Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin
written and directed by Cameron Crowe
by Walter Chaw Casting about wildly for that elusive "Lubitsch Touch" so prized by his hero Billy Wilder, underdog-uplift auteur Cameron Crowe has patched together Elizabethtown: an awkward, shambling, Frankenstein's monster of a romantic screwball farce that, for all its slickness, shows off every one of its bolts and stitches in monstrous bas relief. Crowe piles on the pathos in this tale of fallen shoe designer Drew (Orlando Bloom), who travels from the West Coast to the semi-Deep South (the titular Elizabethtown, KY) to collect the ashes of his freshly-dead father for the purposes of a maudlin (and interminable) eleventh-hour road trip. "We should have done this years ago," says Drew to his dad's earthly remains, wiping away a brave tear, but for as machine-calibrated as the scene is to pluck at the heartstrings, there isn't--as there isn't at any moment in this film--a hint of authenticity to the sentiment. It's hard to question Crowe's earnestness, but it's easy to point at the alien remove of this picture and speculate as to whether the mom-dependent Crowe (has anyone checked to see if he's still attached to her umbilically?) has ever had a genuinely examined emotion regarding his pop.