Almost Famous is a movie I not only love, but was important to me in my formative years, and my life in general.
It tells the story of William Miller (Patrick Fugit), a 15 year old kid on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine. He has to cover an up and coming rock band during what critic Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) calls the dying days of Rock N’ Roll.
Along the way, Miller falls in love with a “groupie” (although she would object to the term) named Penny played by Kate Hudson. Penny is also in a relationship of convenience with the band’s lead singer Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup).
There is so much to love about this movie. Every character is fully developed and brings many wrinkles to the pictures.
Almost Famous Trailer
I was around the age as the Miller character when I first saw this movie, and as a fellow young aspiring writer, he was a perfect muse for me.
I also drew much inspiration from the real-life character of Lester Bangs. Lester was for me as a writer, what John Belushi was to many aspiring actor/comedians; that being both an inspirational figure and a cautionary tale/manic mess.
Almost Famous had everything for me as a teenager; a likable and relatable lead teenager, a fascinating story, and did it all to a soundtrack that I still adore to this day.
Cameron Crow directed this with great nostalgic flair.
Every actor here, from the ones already mentioned to others such as Frances McDormand and Zoey Deschanel does a fabulous job.
These are portrayals of real three dimensional people caught within the struggles of everyday life. All while trying to find inspiration through the music of the times.
Roger Ebert described this best as a 20th century version of Huck Finn, only instead of a lazy river this one is set on a wild Rock N’ Roll tour bus.
Almost Famous gets a five out of five: EXCELLENT.
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