Films: Millar's Movie Romance Blooms on Road to Kentucky; John Millar Previews Orlando Bloom Flick Elizabethtown, out on Friday

Article excerpt

Byline: John Millar

ELIZABETHTOWN (12A) Cameron Crowe, who has built a reputation as a top director with films such as Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky, focused his attention on very personal issues for his new movie, Elizabethtown.

Orlando Bloom stars as Drew Baylor, a big city whizzkid whose business dreams end in disaster. Then he has to head into the backwoods of Kentucky to arrange his dad's funeral.

It turns out the inspiration for this movie was the death of Crowe's own father, who passed away while he was visiting relatives in Kentucky.

The director admits that creating this film helped him come to terms with his grief.

"A little bit," he says. "I was close with my dad and had never really written about him."

Writing Elizabethtown, also starring Kristen Dunst and Susan Sarandon, came relatively easily. What was tough was signing up Crowe's leading man. The director thought Orlando would be perfect but there were difficulties because the handsome young British star was committed to making Troy and The Calcium Kid.

For a while there was a suggestion Ashton Kutcher might win the part but Crowe decided to wait until Orlando was available. And he reckons the delay was worthwhile.

He says: "Sometimes the toughest stuff is the stuff worth fighting for. …