But it's one of those movies where the more I watch it, the more I love it. The first time I watched Elizabethtown I enjoyed it, but wasn't in love. Then I saw it again... and again.... and again...
The dark humor, the quirky conversations, the crazy family members, ridiculous wedding parties, strange funerals, the fiasco to end all fiascos, all night phone conversations... it's one of those movies that makes you think "This is really what life is!" even though it isn't because you're watching a movie and movies are never *really* how life is.
Elizabethtown is not a very popular movie, and in the grand scheme of things, it's not going to make many people's top 10 movie lists. But I love it anyways, so I want to share with you today the character Claire played by Kirstin Dunst.
She's a character that when asked to think of great female role models she wouldn't be who first comes to mind. Then once she's mentioned, you're like "oh yeah... she is pretty awesome, isn't she?"
Claire even says it herself: "I'm impossible to forget, but hard to remember."
This is part of why I love Claire so much. She's easy to relate to. One of those girls who sells herself short even though people love to be around her. Then feels left out because they might not remember to invite her to the party. Others see how great she is, but she will still find herself in a relationship and in situations that she really doesn't deserve. I think a lot of us feel that way. I know I do sometimes. People usually don't forget who I am - it's kind of hard to forget that unusually short loud girl. But they don't always remember me either.
The audience first meets Claire when Orlando's character (Drew) is in flight to his father's funeral. She's his flight attendant - and probably the most annoying/awesome attendant ever. He clearly doesn't want her talking to him and butting her nose into his life, especially since he just failed and is mourning his dad, but it's exactly what he needs. She gives him advice for how to get to where he's going, talks to him about his dad, helps out with his suit, and keeps him company on a lonely flight. She even goes as far to give him her number in case he gets lost - which he does.
I love this about Claire. She's not afraid to put herself out there to help people and go to any lengths to do so. She almost seems to good to be true, but she is. It's the whole idea of Love Does. It's not just the words we say, but the things we do. Even if we just met them on an airplane.
Clair keeps popping up in Drew's life even after she's no longer his flight attendant. She becomes someone he can talk to for hours - all night even. (Another love does thing. Would you stay up all night talking to someone you just met?) About his failures, his dad, and any other random thing that pops into his head. It's not just a one way street though. He helps her as well. She opens up to him about her life too. How many times do we feel like we need to listen to other people in need, but never share our own lives? Claire puts herself out there to help Drew, but also puts herself out there by telling him about herself as well.
Claire realizes her own shortcomings. She knows that she sells herself short. She knows she's in a relationship with a guy she shouldn't be. She even admits "I think I've been asleep my whole life." She feels like she's missing out on something. Something awesome. But by the end of the movie, Drew isn't the only one who grows and changes. Claire does too. The best role models, in my personal opinion, are the people who know where they fall short and try to grow from it.
On that note - Claire isn't afraid of failure. Drew is freaking out the whole movie about his big fiasco. (Which I won't tell you about. You just need to watch the movie!) She tells him to stop. Yes, he failed. BIG TIME. She allows him 10 seconds to bask in the failure. But then he needs to move on.
So many of us are terrified of failing. Messing up big time. But that's how we get better. We need to take the risk and make some big mistakes. Then we need to dust ourselves off and move on.
By the end of the movie, Claire is no longer going to wait for Drew to get his act together. She puts herself out there, yet again, and takes a risk with her heart. Will he show up at the destination she made for him to meet her? She doesn't know for sure. But she puts a plan in motion for him to be with her anyways. She's not begging him. She's not chasing him. Just putting the option out there - take it or leave it.
She's also fun. When Drew is at his rock bottom, Claire makes him have fun. Running around a hotel, meeting up in the middle of the night, going on a long road trip (soundtrack planned out and all), and a ton of other little shenanigans along the way. Because sometimes you just need to be ridiculous.
I feel like we all could be a bit more like Claire. Putting ourselves out there, realizing what we need to work on in our lives, showing love for people through our actions, and making big mistakes.
Have you seen Elizabethtown? What did you think of the movie? Do you like Claire? Do you know of anyone like her?
- Trust me, everybody is less mysterious as they think they are.
- We peaked on the phone.
- I'm impossible to forget, but hard to remember.
- I think I've been asleep most of my life.
- Some music needs some air. Roll down your window.
- I don't know a lot about everything, but I do know a lot about the part of everything that I know, which is people.
- I mean, everyone's got to take a road trip, at least once in their lives. Just you and some music.
- I want you to get deep into the beautiful melancholy of everything that's happened.
- So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling.
- I'm going to miss your lips and everything attached to them.