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Erin Brockovich

"Erin Brockovich" on DVD

Erin Brockovich is a single mother who's mad at the world in Universal's DVD release of the hit Julia Roberts vehicle.

She's smart and attractive, but has virtually no people skills and seems to be of the mind that everyone else owes her a break because she's had a tough go of it. She basically browbeats her way into an entry level position at a small legal office operated by a good hearted lawyer (and they say this movie isn't fiction!), played by Albert Finney.

While doing her job, Erin, who is incapable of taking constructive criticism (she has a hissy fit when it's suggested she could dress a bit more professionally), stumbles across a case that looks as if it could be the little guys against big business. In this case, it's Pacific Gas and Electric, the huge utility, who've polluted the area around a small California town, causing untold health problems to the residents there.

Erin joins the dots and concludes, correctly, that this is a legitimate case where they could get their clients millions from the utility. The rest of the movie recounts the work on the case, until its eventual successful conclusion.

There isn't a lot of drama here. Erin gets mildly threatened once by, we assume, stooges for the utility, but other than Erin's ongoing conflict with co-workers and others who get her back up, it's a pretty straightforward story.

In the end, it's a liberal fantasy, where the free spirit single mother carves out a niche on her own terms and almost singlehandedly brings the evil corporation to its knees.

Erin, however, is immature and selfish and never learns during the course of the movie. She always expects a break from others, but is unwilling to cut anyone any slack for her own part, which is unfortunate.

You'd think someone who'd been dumped upon by life would be a little more tolerant of others, but not our Erin. She's a typical liberal in that she demands tolerance from others, but is wildly intolerant herself.

This is probably why this movie was so popular in Hollywood...

Erin doesn't really grow. She succeeds, and ends up wealthy, but she doesn't really change, and that's too bad. If she'd been my employee she would have been fired early on and, though I may have missed out on PG&E's millions, and a legitimately humanitarian case, my life would have been far more rewarding and far less stressful.

No employer deserves what she put her boss through and, even though it worked out in the end, the ends do not necessarily justify the means.

The DVD is presented in widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1, and the audio and video quality are first rate. Extras include a short interview with the real Erin Brokovich, now dressed much more professionally, as well as a "Spotlight on Location" feature on the film's production. There's also a section with deleted scenes (with directory's commentary), production notes, and the usual trailer/language choices. There's also PC Friendly DVD ROM material.

Erin Brockovich, from Universal Home Video
132 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart
Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Written by Susannah Grant, Directed by Steven Soderbergh


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Updated May 13, 2006