I still can’t wait to see it!!

‘Elizabethtown’ takes criticism, trims
Something strange happened when Elizabethtown, Oscar-winning filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s wistful ramble on matters of love, life and death, previewed at September’s Toronto Film Festival.
Namely, the Elizabethtown Massacre.
No mercy was shown by critics, who usually are cheerleaders for the onetime rock journalist and nice-guy creator of such cherished films as Say Anything… , Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. It didn’t matter that the Southern-fried roots odyssey, starring Orlando Bloom in his first major contemporary comedy and inspired by Crowe’s journey after his dad’s death in 1989, was labeled a “work in progress.”
Said Dave Poland of Movie City News: “Has all the qualities not of a simple misfire, but of an outright jumping of the directorial shark.”
The mainstream press was no kinder and more than a bit confused about its genre. David Ansen of Newsweek: “A tone-deaf, miscast and interminable romantic comedy.” Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly: “A muddled feel-good drama.”
Crowe, 48, a rare optimist in a cynical industry, was disheartened. “I just stopped reading the stuff,” he says on the phone, days after whittling 18 minutes from the original 2-hour, 19-minute run time (2 minutes of credits were added).
On the upside, Crowe adds, “I did have the gift of seeing it in a public screening.” His ensemble piece earned a standing ovation in Toronto and at earlier festivals in Deauville, France, and Venice.
The trimmed version of his film opens in theaters Friday.
Why didn’t he wait until he had a final cut? “I didn’t have the two-hour version for the festivals,” Crowe says. “They liked and accepted the longer cut. It’s not like they invited me out of sympathy.” It also is not the first time an unfinished print, including the well-received 8 Mile, played Toronto.
What got the ax? Plenty about the doomed shoe that Bloom’s character designed and more encounters with a wedding party that takes over the hotel where he’s staying. The ending now is more focused on Bloom’s future with Kirsten Dunst, the impossibly chipper airline attendant he has just met.
“He is less a guy adrift and more of a guy on a specific journey,” says Crowe, who also tweaked the film’s comic rhythms.
What remains includes a slightly altered all-night phone call between Bloom and Dunst, an adjusted memorial celebration that ends on a wet-and-wild note and a 15-minute road trip set to locale-specific tunes.
Now it’s up to moviegoers to decide whether to visit Elizabethtown. One bright light: Last week, the Chicago Tribune gave the shorter version a three-star review.
Crowe’s lesson: He would still take a movie to Toronto. “But maybe not an unfinished one.”