Bloom plays Drew Baylor, a once-rising star of an athletic shoes firm. However, when his shoe design bombs in the market, causing some $972 million dollars in losses, he is immediately fired from his Nike-like company. And as if things couldn’t get worse, he receives a call about his father’s sudden death at the moment when he is about to commit suicide due to the “fiasco”. He has to take the first plane to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to retrieve the remains of his father.
While on the plane, he meets Clare (Dunst), a flight attendant with an affecting sunny disposition, who helps him see his failure in a different light. It is in Elizabethtown, a sleepy pocket of Kentucky, that Drew learns more about his father and his roots, and most especially what greatness actually means.
The film makes sense for the most part and has a promising premise. However, where Drew’s failure is concerned, it is easy to ask why a successful shoe company allowed the release of a hideously designed shoe and even perhaps without an accompanying market research to test the acceptability–and eventually, saleability–of the product. Drew’s failure could have had a better reason other than aesthetic flaws.
Setting the initial premise, the story rises to acceptable levels as Drew takes his trip to Elizabethtown, meets Clare along the way and becomes familiar with his blood ties, the laid back and rather traditional huge family that his father left behind in Elizabethtown, Kentucky for California.
But what saves this piece by director Cameron Crowe is the powerful soundtrack. Don’t lose heart since the film delivers a touching promise in the end when Clare sends Drew to a 42-hour roadtrip back to California with accompanying music at every stop and instructions on interesting destinations along the way.