We are not Groupies. Groupies sleep with rockstars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids. -Penny Lane
In 2000 Almost Famous was a movie that took everyone by storm. With a beautifully written script by Cameron Crowe, it whisked us to a world where music was everything. The journey of a fifteen year old boy who happened to be smarter than everyone around him fell in love with rock n’ roll and became inspired to write about music. Almost Famous becomes one of those rare moments in cinema where a flawless story telling, amazing character’s, and great dialogue make a perfect movie. Without question one of the most profound and resonating movies to commence a new decade.
An above average student named William who found solace and peace with a box of rock and roll records his older sister left for him before she left home finds what is his inspiration in life. Being smart enough to do anything, and having a single mom who happens to be wildly overprotective and conservative, makes his desire and dreams to write for Rolling Stone seem a distant possibility for him. Through perseverance and a little hedging of the truth, William smooths his mom over, and finds himself on tour with one of the most elusive and exciting rock bands around, while simultaneously meeting the most charismatic and amazing girl he’d ever known.
The character’s are “incendiary” down to the threesome family of McDormand, Deschanel, and Fugit to the small supporting role played by Hoffman, to even the rare moments “band aids” Anna Paquin and Fairuza Balk intermingle. Every character adds to the nuance of the story and creates layers of compelling relationships that bloom and break. The journey of Fugit , who is endearing and charming, brings levels of entertainment that anyone can relate to. His character is inspiring. Kate Hudson burst into Hollywood with her most profound performance as Penny Lane, the tragic, almost magical character that broke her own rules and fell in love with a rock star. Her free spirit, zest for life, and kind heart make her unforgettable in cinema history and elevate this film to even greater levels of adolescent idealism.
There is great story telling largely due to the remarkable script written by Cameron Crowe. With the music as a spectacular back round for amazing dialogue each scene is heightened by the full spectrum of the film. It is literally infectious and nearly impossible to not just fall into the trance of the story and character’s. Billy Crudup as Russell Hammond, the mysterious hunk of the band, that Penny falls for gives a gripping performance as well, but he becomes the character that really incites change within the rest of our character’s. Being the catalyst and also aloof and alluring , close, but somehow always out of reach for William, captures the essence of rock and roll stars. Fans feel so close, hearing their lyrics, living the melodies they write, but even those closest to them are still miles away, even the band mates themselves. The truth of this depiction only furthers the fascinating appeal Almost Famous already alludes.
Almost Famous is one of the most fulfilling movies I’ve ever watched. Very few films will I stop when channel surfing and watch at any point it’s at until it’s finish, but this film has a kinetic life that draws you in. It’s truly just a story about a boy coming of age, he just happens to be doing it on tour with a rock band. It will make you laugh, break your heart, and strike up a genuine feeling of nostalgia, and for those of us that are old enough, we might just crawl into our attics and caress the vinyl we have gathering dust in boxes, with memories of the first song that made you love music. There is nothing like watching a movie that has heart and soul and is willing to share it’s joy with an audience.