Follow TV Tropes


Film / Taking Woodstock

Go To

A 2009 comedy-drama film directed by Ang Lee, Taking Woodstock tells the story behind the creation of the titular music festival.

In 1969, young Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) returns to his parents' motel in the Catskills after a failed attempt at a career in art and design in New York City. His parents are in danger of losing their business and their home, so Elliot — the president of the local Chamber of Commerce — feels it's his duty to keep that from happening. Every year he gets a permit to host a local music festival, and 1969 is no different.

Well... there is one difference. See, in the summer of '69, one of the neighboring towns pulls its permits for a potential concert with the Woodstock Group. Elliot gets it into his head, seeing as how he already has the permit, to move the festival to his parent's motel in White Lake. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues.

This film includes examples of:

  • Black Comedy: At the end, Michael tells Elliot that he's planning a truly free concert... in Altamont.
  • Calling The Old Woman Out: After going through the entire film belittled and mistreated by his mother, Elliot reaches his breaking point. After finding out his mother had saved up $97,000 over the course of her life, but nevertheless expected her son to bail her out of all her financial woes, Elliot has it. He calls her out, then leaves.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Elliot. Well, he is played by Demetri Martin.
    • A good example would be the amount Elliot pays to the local chamber of commerce to get the permit. $1. And he's also the president of the chamber.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: Some of the funniest moments in the film come when straight-laced Elliot stops giving things a pass
    • Not to mention his parents...
  • The Film of the Book: Based on Elliot Tiber's 2007 memoir of the same title.
  • Financial Abuse: Elliot has always supported his parents, putting all his own earnings and savings into their failing motel. Only to find out his mother's been hoarding money all her life, and could have bailed herself out if she hadn't made Elliot do it for her.
  • Historical In-Joke: See Black Comedy above.
  • Jerkass: Elliot's mother, which isn't surprising since her actress, Imelda Staunton, is known for playing complete Jerkass characters.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The Earthlight Players.
  • Pun-Based Title
  • The '60s
  • The Stoner: Several, though Michael especially.
  • Straight Gay: Elliot.
  • What Does He See In Her?: After finding out how his mother has been hoarding money for years but counted on him to bail her out of her financial troubles, (see Financial Abuse above) Elliot asks his father how he could stay with her for so long. His reply? He loves her.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Vilma.