Jerry Maguire goes to the zoo. Okay fair enough, this is “based on a true story” but the trailer for Cameron Crowe‘s new film We Bought a Zoo doesn’t look too far away from that exact description. That being said, it’s revising a formula that worked well the first time and is the kind of film Cameron Crowe really likes. Lone male struggling against obscurity and loneliness to triumph, sounds exactly like a Crowe film.
The film follows Ben, a single father who attempts to fulfil the memory of his late wife by moving his family to an animal sanctuary and renovating it. This new change in his life shows that he may have the possibility of moving on and setting up a new family.
On the up side, it looks like we’ll be getting something of quality from Crowe, and we haven’t had that for a while. The last effort from him was the god awful Elizabethtown and at least if this is going for sentimentality it seems to be doing it in a way that is bearable. For starters, it has a really nice leading cast, with Matt Damon heading up and Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church with support.
Also, there are some nicely comedic moments tucked away in there and the child actors seem fairly adorable and cute without being toe curlingly awful. As this is only a trailer, he may not turn out to be such a saccharine ride, and Crowe may be able to bring some truth to what it is like being a single parent and the difficulty of running a family after the loss of a partner.
But this is not the Cameron Crowe of Almost Famous and it does look generic. Which is a damn shame because that film was absolutely brilliant and was a deeply personal story but through intelligent writing, it managed to make the film’s themes universal.
We Bought a Zoo is due for release on December 23rd.