Stars: * 1/2
Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual references
Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
You have to admire Cameron Crowe for a notable body of work that spans teen classics “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (writer) and “Say Anything” to rock solid “Almost Famous” and on-the-money “Jerry Maguire”.
Maybe Crowe needs a breather, or perhaps he should beat a hasty retreat to a desert island until the shame of this messy romantic dramedy fades to black.
Crowe’s latest protagonist is Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) an up-and-coming running shoe exec on his way down after his highly touted sneaker crashes and burns to the tune of a $972 million loss.
Drew is taking drastic measures of his own (involving a sharp knife and a
stationary bike) he discovers that his father has suffered a heart attack and
died while visiting kin in
and sis (Susan Sarandon and Judy Greer) impress upon the prodigal son the
urgent need to transport dad’s dress suit to
For a guy
for whom success is the only god the
Crowe seems rather bewildered himself. His tribute to his own departed dad is a jumble of potentially intriguing concepts that rarely gel and leave the sticky residue of bad impromptu theater.
Crowe’s musical roots (Rolling Stone Magazine, etc.) demand that his films be set to a hipper-than-thou parade of esoteric hits meant to convey pathos, poignancy, you name it. I prefer realizing my own sentiments to having them telegraphed a la the tuneful stylings of Elton John or Tom Petty.
The soundtrack is a poor supplement to the action, which culminates in a shockingly maudlin cross-country road trip meant to inspire but is nothing more than a painful exercise in narrative desperation.
Dunst’s fault that “
Even diehard Crowe fans will cringe at his spectacular loss of focus and should sidestep this nebulous affair altogether.