If It Wasn’t This It’d Be Something Else

It caught my eye as I walked out of the “Elizabethtown” premiere at the Franklin Theater (Fourth & Main, Franklin, TN): the full, harvest moon. It was was hung low and hazy, and burnt red like some Hollywood set piece.

I wish I could tell you more. But my fingers are numb, my eyes are burning, and I have a flight to catch in the morning. After, that is, a visit to my colleagues at CMT, and The Country Music Hall of Fame.

For now, then, please accept this humble snapshot of this afternoon’s activities, specifically tailored to MTV’s 18-24 female audience.

Orlando Bloom Breaks Hearts As ‘Elizabethtown’ Storms The South

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — Hollywood hit the heartland this weekend, and everywhere it went, heartbreak was not far behind.

Orlando Bloom and director Cameron Crowe barnstormed the South in support of their forthcoming film, “Elizabethtown.” Crowe, Leanne Rimes, Wynona Judd, Clint Black and other Music City luminaries crowded the red carpet in Franklin, Tennessee, Sunday night. But from the high-pitched screams and handcrafted signs that overflowed the carpets edges, it was clear that it was Bloom they’d come to see.

“I am so sweaty, and so tired, and so excited,” 17-year-old Elizabeth McClary of Bell Buckle, Tennessee (population 463), said. “I’ve been waiting here for three hours!”

Bloom’s every step was matched with ear-piercing shrieks as he inched his way towards the Franklin Theater on Fourth and Main Streets. As a hazy sun set on the small town just twenty miles south of Nashville, Bloom mugged for every camera, waved at every fan, and even managed to blot out the mocking hollers of “Legalus!” from teens camped out on the rooftops. It took him an hour to cover the one block carpet.

“Billy Wilder once told me,” Crowe said, ‘Make ’em personal, but make ’em for the people.'”

And so the cast and crew of the film left the been-there, done-that populations of New York and Los Angeles, and returned to the where the film was shot: in the great, green hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. All weekend, Crowe and Bloom road tripping through Kentucky and Tennessee in fully branded “Elizabethtown” busses, drumming up support for the film.

The weekend began in Crowe’s father’s hometown: the film’s namesake. There beneath a cool drizzle, Crowe, wife (and Heart front woman) Nancy Wilson, and Bloom celebrated with a BBQ, parade, and a hometown premiere.

“I don’t think they really believed we’d come back,” Crowe said after the screening.

The film follows Drew Baylor (Bloom) from a career-killing fiasco, through his father’s unexpected death, back home to Kentucky for the funeral. Along the way, he meets flight attendant Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst). A love story (and, as Cameron like to point out, “hilarity”) ensue. And because it’s a Cameron Crowe film, it’s all set to to a richly realized soundtrack including My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, and Tom Petty.

Later, at Ear X-Tacy in Louisville, fans waited over six hours for Crowe¹s signature. When Bloom blew in to surprise Cameron — Oprah show producers en tow — all hell broke loose. “They closed down Bardstown Road,” store clerk Bryan Peters said. “I’ve never seen that happen.”

J Record soundtrack standouts I Nine and singer/songwriter Patty Griffin performed Sunday night in Franklin. But it was all a preamble for Bloom. When his red carpet gauntlet was run, he waved and smiled for the now teary fans once more, and then ducked into the theater with Crowe.

“How you holdin’ up?” Crowe asked.

Bloom just sighed, smiled, and exhaled.

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