It is 1973 and a high school senior at age 15 enters the world of rock. The only thing you think that can happen is corruption, but Almost Famous has so much more going for it than that.
Patrick Fugit stars as William, a young journalist, who, working for Rolling Stone Magazine, goes on a road trip with a rising new band called Stillwater. As they present him with a world that he never knew existed, he begins to realize that these guys that are giving him things, women, and most of all friendship do not really care about him. All they care about is his story.
Cameron Crowe, who directed and wrote this movie based on his real life adventures, has given us a thoughtful movie with good acting, a good story, and good dialogue. The screenplay is mixed with drama and comedy, and I was entertained the entire time.
But instead of pointing out all of the good things about this movie, which you can easily read in most other reviews out there, I'm going to note a few of the low points that make me wonder how Almost Famous is coming to be considered by critics as the best movie of 2000. It's good, but not that good.
The movie acts like it is lighthearted when in reality it has a much more serious theme, and while it could be considered ingenious, I consider it a defect. There are scenes that should have been darker but they weren't, and others where Crowe is presenting a strong point and then decides to put one little piece of comedy in there to lift the audience, but instead ruins the scene. However, there is one scene near the end where Fugit confronts Hudson (who plays Penny) about her relationship with one of the band members. She tries to counter his attack by giving a goofy smile, but no one in the audience laughs. I liked this because it was completely intentional, and it shows just how fragile this girl is.
Okay, I guess that's not as many flaws as I thought. Almost Famous is a really good movie and most people should like it, but is it the best movie of the year? No. At least it shouldn't be by the time the year 2000 is done with. Almost Famous didn't captivate me, entertain me, and convince me to see it again the way last year's top movie, American Beauty, did, and even with out comparing, Almost Famous is a good but not great movie.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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