Elizabethtown, with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, and Susan Sarandon. How much bad luck can one guy handle in any given day? Drew Baylor (Bloom) is about to find out. His futuristic athletic shoe design that was supposed to propel the company to new heights turns out to be an embarassing flop, resulting in a $972 million loss. No sympathy from his boss--he's canned. As if his firing isn't humiliation enough, his girlfriend dumps him. He decides life isn't worth living, puts all his worldly goods out on the street for any passersby to take (which they do, and quickly!), and attempts to stab himself to death by duct-taping a kitchen knife to the moving handlebars of his exercise bike.
But the duct tape slips and then the phone rings. It's his sister, calling to tell him their dad has just died and it's up to Drew to make the trip to Elizabethtown, Kentucky (where his dad was visiting family), to make funeral arrangements. Okay, he'll postpone his own death that long--take care of Dad, see that his mom and sister are okay, then back to the business of suicide. That is, until he meets Claire (Dunst), a quirky flight attendant whose passion for life and growing attraction for Drew begins to turn his life around.
The movie ends with Claire preparing a special "map" and sending Drew on the cross-country road trip he never got the chance to take with his dad.
"Begin your journey and do not skip ahead,"
her travelogue CD instructs him. Good advice for any journey through life. Drew's route takes him past a newsstand, where he finds his abysmal shoe failure plastered across magazine covers for all the world to see. Then we hear Claire's voiceover:
"You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery. Enjoy it, embrace it, discard it, and proceed."
Wow. Words to live by, especially for us writer types. How many times have I wallowed in the misery of yet one more manuscript rejection? And I sure didn't call it quits after a measly five minutes! Face it--wallowing in our disappointment feels good . . . for a while. But then we have to shake it off and get on with the business of living.
To quote another Christian writer, "God called me to write. He never called me to quit writing. So I just kept doing what he called me to do. If God has called you to write, then don't you dare quit. Don't you DARE!" (Randy Ingermanson--sign up for his newsletter; it's great!)