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Almost Famous (2000)

Cameron Crowe (writer and director, again) dusts off his memoirs for Dreamworks SKG and brings it to the theaters (and expanded DVD) to show us what post '60s rock was to the young and not-so-innocent of the United States. If anyone is a fan of Classic Rock, they will certainly love this movie. The music is everywhere, including the original notes and lyrics written by Crowes wife, Nancy Wilson. Even Peter Frampton lends a hand as supervisor in this nostalgic look at the life of music fans, groupies, players and writers, with newcomer Patrick Fugit playing William Miller, an aspiring music critic following his dream.

All around, there are great performances here, but I still find it difficult to believe the hype surrounding Kate Hudson's performance. In fact, she might be the one not acting on the same level as everyone else. This just may be a case of, 'Oh, she's cute syndrome, let's talk about her a lot.' In fact, one of the better lines is spoken by the drummer, during the one scene I wanted to end. And, the most under-used character would be Anna Paquin's...poor thing. My personal stand out is Jason Lee's tortured lead singer, Jeff Bebe. (Bebe is God!!)

Everything about the film made me want to have a happy ending. It was looking really dismal though, and I don't think I would be spoiling anything by saying that. A music lover, listening for at least ten years, will know that a band has it's ups-and-downs, and eventually, the disheartening break-up; even if it's for a short time, bands break-up. And the way-back effect on this movie is hardcore. Sometimes during a song, you may think about the time you first heard a song, or moment when that song was playing, and you can't shake it, it stays with you until the next song comes up. This movie is worth buying just to play it in the background. Undoubtedly, you will be wondering why some of these bands are no more, and why did the players have to leave so young.



The look of the film is generous. There is no graininess, or bleached look to the film, that would otherwise make you think you're watching a documentary. It is all happening right here, right now. In fact, I cannot think of anything bad about it. I say job well done to John Toll, and editors Joe Hutshing and Saar Klein. Almost flawless. There just may be one little drawback...; too long. Just by a little bit, so don't moan about it. The ending had to come, but I thought it would come sooner, and a little trimming might have done the job. The movie has an independent feel to it, and I am sure that someone at Dreamworks liked it so much, they let Crowe do as he pleased. Especially with the music, paid rights going well over 3 million dollars(us). Whoa!


Cinematography: 4.0
Screenplay: 3.5
Acting: 4.0
Overall: 3.8

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