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Cameron Crowe returns to the big screen with “Aloha”

cameron-crowe-director

One of my favorite filmmakers out there is Cameron Crowe, bar none. He’s responsible for some of the most enjoyable and memorable cinema of the past few decades, so whenever a new film of his arrives, it’s something that I look forward to in a big way. As such, this week’s release of Aloha is one that’s been on my movie calendar for a while now. The director is returning to a project that he’d originally intended to be his follow up to Elizabethtown (a film that I unabashedly love, even if I’m in the minority), so it’s clear it means something to him. When I see it later tonight (we’re embargoed on discussing it until later in the week, by the by), hopefully that passion is reflected.

The film (once called Deep Tiki and rumored to star Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon before being shelved for a while and re-emerging from Crowe’s mind as Aloha) is a Hawaii set romantic dramedy, sure to be filled with memorable music. It centers around a military contractor (played by Bradley Cooper) who returns to the Hawaiian location of one of his greatest career triumphs. While there, he re-connects with a long-ago love (played by Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling in love with the Air Force watchdog (played by Emma Stone) who is assigned to him be with him at all times. Crowe obviously writes and directs, while the cast, aside from Cooper, McAdams, and Stone, features Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Elizabeth Marvel, and many more.

Throughout Crowe’s career, he’s had a great sense of music, relationships, and just filmmaking on the whole that makes you want to stand up and cheer. If any of that is once again in evidence here, it’ll make for a very entertaining film. Even if this is one of his lesser features, like the still enjoyable We Bought a Zoo, for example, it’ll still be something likely worth seeing. Factor in how great of a run Cooper is on of late, and that only makes this something more interesting. When Crowe is at his best, we get all time classics like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, so even if he’s not on that level, expectations should still be high.

Yes, the trailers so far have made this feel a bit on the generic side, but sometimes that actually winds up working in a movie’s favor. Without having seen much from the film, there’s more to discover. I’m sure there will be plenty of Cooper bonding with the rest of the cast, pining for his ex in McAdams, and ultimately winding up with the spunky Stone, but the joy is in seeing how it’s pulled off, with the unique ways that Crowe brings people together. He’s got a real talent for that, so it’s not beyond the realm of reason to expect that to be on hand again here.

Later on this week when Aloha opens, audiences get to see a new movie from the mind of Crowe. I’m not sure people are appreciative enough of his work, which is one reason why I really hope he wins another Oscar soon. He already has the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay on his mantle (for writing Almost Famous), but he’s never gotten in for Best Director, which I find to be a glaring omission and almost a crime. Aloha doesn’t look like the one to get him there, but if/when Crowe catches Oscar’s attention again, I’ll be pulling for him. The Academy has honored him once before, don’t forget that…

Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams
Be sure to check out Aloha on Friday!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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