Almost Famous is the film writer/director Cameron Crowe has waited his whole career to make. Fortunately, the master of pop culture love stories’ newest film, released tomorrow, is the movie you didn’t even know you were waiting for. It is arguably the most entertaining film since Crowe’s debut, Say Anything.
Fresh-faced Patrick Fugit is William, a die-hard music fan aspiring to be a rock journalist. William unbelievably befriends rock’s most renowned critic, Lester Bangs, at the ripe age of fifteen. It’s San Diego, 1973, and according to Bangs, rock is all but dead. He tells William to be a lawyer.
Instead, our hero writes his own law and goes on tour with the up-and-coming group, Stillwater. His mission is to write a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine. His real mission: live life. On one level the film instantly appeals to music fans, while on another level it tugs on very universal emotions, an art Crowe has honed.
Sure, a cover story for a national rag may seem a bit unrealistic for such a young’un, but in the truest sense of suspended disbelief, Almost Famous draws the viewer in with it’s childlike awe of the world.
The wonderful script (Crowe used to write for Creem, Playboy and Rolling Stone) is solidified with equally strong acting. Jason Lee (Chasing Amy), Stillwater’s lead singer, and Frances McDormand (Fargo, Blood Simple), William’s overprotective, “just-say-no” mom, provide comic relief.
Billy Crudup, the all too cool rock star, and Kate Hudson (Gossip), the girl who’s in love with the all too cool rock star, maintain the hip rock mystique that William is just not (yet?) cool enough to possess. The biggest surprise is Fugit himself, whose honest and compelling acting debut warrants further big screen appearances.
If you are a fan of movies about dreamers and the wonderfully strange possibilities of life, then Almost Famous will have you beaming. If you are a music fan, you’ll swear it’s the best movie you’ve seen in a long, long time.