Life Imitating Art, Elizabethtown-Style

Last Sunday night, as we were packing to come down to Kentucky, I was channel-surfing. I discovered that the movie “Elizabethtown” had just started, so we stopped packing and watched it. I’d seen it before, but I’m a fan of writer-director Cameron Crowe’s work, and, besides, who likes packing?

If you haven’t seen it, the film tells the story of Drew Baylor, played by Orland Bloom. When his father dies suddenly, he must return to his ancestral home of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He meets and falls in love with a flight attendant, played by Kirsten Dunst, unsullen and doing her best work.

Elizabethtown, as it happens, is only about 40 km from where we were staying.

Taking the movie and the town’s proximity as a bit of a sign, we made a short road trip there. It’s pretty unremarkable, and as far as I could tell the town has resisted the urge to exploit any connection with the movie. We did have a nice dinner at the Back Home Restaurant, which is everything the name promises. I had potato-wrapped cod, and homemade coconut cream pie for dessert.

On our way to Elizabethtown, I was scanning the local radio stations (the radio mix here was much better than in Texas) and happened upon U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. That song is featured on the “Elizabethtown” soundtrack when, in the midst of his own road trip, Drew visits the scene of Martin Luther King’s assasination.

We decided to spend our last night in Kentucky in Louisville. We used Hotwire to pick a hotel. As you may know, Hotwire shows you pricing and details for hotels that match your search without disclosing the actual name of the hotel. You book (often at a robust discount) and then get notified of where you’re staying.

We got a very favourable rate at a downtown historic hotel. It’s turns out to be the Brown Hotel, where Drew stays and where much of the second act of “Elizabethtown” takes place.

Is Cameron Crowe trying to tell us something? I don’t think so, but the coincidences were too numerous not to remark upon.


  1. One of the things I remember about that movie is the locals trying to teach him how to pronounce Louisville.

    I always referred to my trusty wooden baseball bat as my “LOOEY-ville Slugger,” so it was interesting to hear them drawl it out as “LUH-ville.”

  2. I really liked that movie! My girlfriend grew up in E-town ( as the locals say ). I know exactly where the Back Home Restaurant is. It’s a nice little place to eat. The correct pronounciation is ” LOOEY-ville “. The city was named for King Louis the 14th of France. Any other pronounciation is local dialect or slang.

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