starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray
written and directed by Cameron Crowe
by Angelo Muredda Few films have predicted their own failure as adroitly as Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, where Orlando Bloom's wayward shoe designer foresees his imminent sacking by dubbing his new DOA product--a billion-dollar boondoggle--a "fiasco." Elizabethtown is a fiasco, all right, but it has little on Aloha, which has to be the quintessential Cameron Crowe film, the one for the time capsule, in its baffling configuration of good intentions and bad execution--and its near-radioactive warmth in spite of it all. Like Elizabethtown, Aloha does us the courtesy of signposting its total structural collapse right in the text; and like Elizabethtown, it's so earnest that it's hard to look away even after the warning. This time the tell is in a sloppily-engineered climactic scene that sees the hero hacking into the satellite he's just helped launch from the Hawaiian base he's secured for the military, destroying the thing he's put up in the air himself, for reasons barely known, by blasting it with a sonic cannon composed of all recorded sound in history. (This being a Cameron Crowe film, "all recorded sound in history" consists of sentimental movie moments from Crowe's youth and snippets of Bob Dylan's discography.) What better metaphor could there be for Aloha, a bad-idea cannon indiscriminately blasting mawkish sentiment and choice soundbites, and compromising its own structural integrity at every turn?