So I recently watched a movie that I was able to deem “my favorite movie” after just one watching. Now usually, I make myself watch a movie three times before concluding that it is, in fact, my favorite movie of the time. Such happened with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Italian Job and Back to the Future. (Yes, I happen to think that Back to the Future is the best movie ever made. If you don’t agree, it’s your loss.) But with this movie, I was taken in within the first five minutes. I forgot myself and even lost my sense of “I’m sitting here watching a movie;” this beautiful story was all that existed for that 123 minutes. To quote the comment on its IMDB site,
This movie has all the markers of a Crowe flick... an awesome soundtrack for starters. What is unexpected about this movie, though, is how funny it is. It deals with some heavy subject matter (death, suicide, failure) in a way that's fresh... and light. There are some scenes that had the audience crying, they were laughing so hard.It has many of the same American nostalgic qualities to it: that orange dusty tint to the American landscape that ultimately makes most people nostalgic for a home they've never had. The small town, where everyone knows your name (or in this case, your dad's name). Crowe introduced this movie saying that a lot of the scenes were from his memories of childhood and his family's eccentricities, which you definitely see. He completely succeeds in capturing the moments (often embarrassing) that families share... and outsiders never get to see.”
The movie, in case you haven’t already figured it out, is Elizabethtown. Since the first time I saw the movie poster advertising the movie, I had a strange sense of curiosity about this flick. I mean, it stars Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Now, I’ve never been one of those girls who croon over the “hotness” of Orlando Bloom, and I never really saw much depth in his acting. (Don’t throw the tomatoes yet, people!) In this movie, however, I was amazed at the intensity he brought to his character. Several times throughout the movie, the camera focuses in on his face. Without a single word or sound, with just facial expression, he was able to convey a vast number of emotions. I could actually feel the struggle of these conflicting thoughts and feelings as I watched his face. The first time it happened, Ben and I just looked at each other with surprised and amazed expressions on our faces. For that reason alone, I could have loved this movie. Of course, this was just the beginning. Kirsten Dunst plays the part of a neurotic girl who changes the life of Bloom’s character. At first, she seems as annoying as the kid who followed you around on the playground at recess and wouldn’t just let you be. By the end of the movie, though, I was actually rooting her on.
Another very important aspect of the movie is the soundtrack. Like in Forrest Gump or Almost Famous, the soundtrack makes the movie. This soundtrack did not disappoint. (I’ve been listening to it nonstop for the past three weeks and can’t seem to get the songs out of my head, in a good way.) Needless to say (again), this is my favorite movie.
And, as a footnote, I did watch it the required three times, and I have to say that, each time, I enjoyed the movie even more.