Good or bad, Cameron Crowe movies build to improbable declarations of sincerity, to the great acts or speeches a man must loose from himself into a world too cynical to value them. His heroes always must filibuster regular life with their decency. Superficially, these acts and speeches are performed in the direction of a woman, who is given a chance to respond when the man has finished. But the acts/speeches are never about her -- instead, they're about how she has freed the man up enough to dare to say or do the things he's saying and doing.

"You had me at hello," she might say, when he peters out, because to a woman in a Cameron Crowe movie the specifics of a lover's words or feelings don't matter, just so long as they're aimed at her. In Aloha, which is as risible as you've heard it is, Bradley Cooper's character only speaks his heart to Emma Stone's after covering her face in a comically oversized hat. Then, spared the intimacy of her eyes, he spews his movie-talk poetry, letting her know that they must be together.

Here's how Stone's character describes Cooper's, early in Aloha: "a brilliant, compelling, innovative, commanding wreck of a guy." Doesn't that sound like the most generous review that Crowe could have hoped for with Elizabethtown or We Bought a Zoo? Does he feel that we fail him when, unlike his female leads, we don't embrace the wrecks? Does it hurt him that we don't pull a hat over our eyes and let him move us with how moved he is? Aloha's terrible, but its biggest problem has been in Crowe's films from the start.



  • Cameron Crowe


  • Emma Stone
  • Rachel McAdams
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Bill Murray
  • Jay Baruchel
  • Ivana Milicevic
  • John Krasinski
  • Alec Baldwin


  • Cameron Crowe


  • Scott Rudin
  • Cameron Crowe

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