Despite being a self-professed pop culture addict, there are many gaps in my movie-viewing history. I’m often greeted with astonished cries of, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!” when I admit to not having seen a certain movie. This is obviously something I need to remedy, which I have slowly been attempting to do via Netflix and a book I have called “500 Must-See Movies.” I probably won’t see all 500, because not all of them interest me, but I want to be able to say, “Oh, I saw that!”
People were always quite shocked to hear I had never seen Almost Famous since it was about music (which I love) and journalism (my profession). I was always told I would love it.
I mean, it wasn’t as earth-shatteringly and life-changing as some promised it would be, but I enjoyed going on the journey with William and Stillwater. There were so many excellent performances, especially Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson’s rightfully Oscar-nominated roles. I loved the glimpses of currently famous people in supporting roles, like Zooey Deschanel and Rainn Wilson, but I guess that’s part of the territory when you’re watching a 12-year-old movie.
The iconic tour bus sing-along to “Tiny Dancer” was just as entertaining as I hoped, and even though I correctly predicted certain plot points, the movie left me with a smile on my face. It seems cliche to describe a movie as ‘heartwarming,’ especially one in which a teenage girl overdoses on quaaludes, but Almost Famous filled me with a warmth that I think comes from Cameron Crowe’s excellent script. The semi-autobiographical elements give the story depth and make the characters seem real.
Am I glad I finally saw Almost Famous? Yes, although I wish I had seen it in college or in my later high school years, when I could more relate to William’s coming-0f-age process, but as a young journalist, his story wasn’t totally foreign to me. (Where can I sign up for a Lester Bangs-esque mentor, though?)
Up next: Say Anything