Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich (2000)

  • Score: 4/5
  • Genre: 3/5
  • Did I enjoy it: Yes.
  • Did it move me: Somewhat, but not in a lasting way.
  • Rewatch:  Someday/maybe.
  • Art/Pop: Pop
  • Noteworthy/Significant: Julie Roberts only Academy Award

Having just watched Erin Brockovich for the first time in 2019, I can say it has held up remarkably well. Erin Brockovich is a loosely-based-upon-real-life story of a young divorced mother desperate for work who gets a job with a local law firm, only to become the key to uncovering what would become a landmark tort case against utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric for slowly poisoning the residents of a small town in California.

Brockovich is a hyperactive, obsessive compulsive sort whose vim, vigor, and sass substitutes for experience as she successfully brute forces her way through the momentous levels of research and paperwork required to put together and try a case of this sort, all to the initial dismay and aggravation, but eventual respect, of her boss, coworkers, friends and family. Aaron Eckhart turns in an enjoyable performance as her heart-of-gold biker neighbor who strikes up a relationship with her.  

While Julia Robert’s performance at times feels a touch too much, her heart is in the right place and suave industry veteran Albert Finney plays a fine counterpoint as her lawyer boss. The script, a limiting factor for both of them, panders too much to expectations and Hollywood tropes. There also seems a sense of disconnection in the overall story arc. It gets there, but in a sort of juttery way. Yes, I know that is not quite a word. 

This results in a rare inverted result for me: A higher primary score than a genre score. Erin Brockovitch really is only average as far as this type of legal film goes (Travolta’s A Civil Action, despite its own faults, far surpasses it), but the general accessibility of it and the big name talent (including Soderburgh as director) give it a strong all-audiences appeal that I cannot ignore. I just expected more.

Review Date: 06/20/2019


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