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Matt Damon Searches For Something Authentic In We Bought A Zoo Clip

After the death of his wife, a grieving widower searches for something to help unite his family and move them on to the next stage in their lives. He decides to buy and renovate a struggling zoo. Through the process of remaking the zoo, the man and his family find themselves Learning Important Things About Life. That smartass write-up is, more or less, the plot of We Bought a Zoo. Based on the premise, most of us would be justified in expecting something cloying and smarmy. Except for six words: "co-written and directed by Cameron Crowe." Here's the latest clip:

Sure, Elizabethtown was intensely mediocre, and there are a lot of folks who didn't dig Vanilla Sky (I wasn't one of them), but let's just consider the man's track record for a second. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Say Anything.... Jerry Maguire. Almost Famous, for crying out loud, still one of the best movies I've ever seen. Sure, the movie looks earnest and uncynical, but what's so bad about that? Don't we get enough of the opposite on a day-to-day basis?

Here's the thing: Cameron Crowe knows that we're all envisioning the shitty version of this movie in our heads. He told Matt Damon it was his express goal to avoid all those pitfalls and instead make something special. Will he pull it off? We'll just have to wait and see, but I've got my fingers crossed that he'll prove us wrong and make our shriveled little hearts grow three sizes. Early word from our own Eric Eisenberg is that he did. And if nothing else, Thomas Haden Church will be awesome, as always.