Almost Famous

By Mark Ramsey | 2006/09/15

Almost Famous is not just the movie’s name but also a good description of the cast.


Kate Hudson, for example, isn’t exactly a household name like Lysol but she can clean and disinfect my basin, tub, and tile anytime.

Wait until you see Kate in this movie! If the universe has a center, it’s playing five times a day at an AMC near you. She shimmers and shines and tempts and teases until she’s paper and we’re glue – and not that Elmers stuff, I’m talking contractor-grade. Small wonder I proposed to her, after which she shrank into a hysterical fit of laughter (which wasn’t exactly her way of saying “yes”).

Kate is the blue jean baby in writer/director Cameron Crowe’s terrific new movie Almost Famous, which was originally almost untitled until Cameron finally threw up his arms and exclaimed: “Oh let’s just name it after Gretchen Mol!”

Everything you’ve heard about this movie is true; it’s great. But don’t buy the hype until you see it for yourself. None of these characters are walking on water, after all, although Billy Crudup trips on acid and comes mighty close.

Shockingly, Cameron, who is now freak-out cool as a result of being personal friends with Tom Cruise (who starred in his Jerry Maguire), was once a stone cold geek – albeit a geek who wrote cover stories for Rolling Stone at the tender age of 15. And it’s that time in the early 70′s that sets the stage and the story for Almost Famous.

I don’t know about you, but a biography on my life at 15 would have featured regular afternoon appointments with Star Trek punctuated by the occasional Judo class and Boy Scout Jamboree. Not that I was a geek or anything, since I could still look down on the guys with the filmstrips. Barely. Hey, I could have interviewed Zeppelin too!

If I had wanted to!

Kate and her girlfriends, including the barely-there Bijou Philips (barely there – even when she was there, I suspect), are “band-aids” or groupies who, along with their boyfriends, the “topical antibiotics,” promote sanitary healing and the love of wicked cool music, man.

Newcomer Patrick Fugit, who channels Cameron’s juvenile essence, begins this movie as a virgin and “comes of age,” so to speak, mid-way thanks to three lovely band-aids who wear their hearts on their sleeves and their underwear on their heads. FYI: This is how it happens to all kids, Patrick.

So Patrick meets legendary music writer Lester Bangs, played with characteristic and flawless skill by Philip Seymour Hoffman. “The only true currency in this bankrupt world,” says Phil, “is what you share with people when you’re un-cool.”

almostfamous_cast.jpgI had currency galore in Judo class, I can tell you.

Almost Famous takes us back to the days when Rock & Roll had integrity, man, and bands were doing it for the love of the music. As 70′s Rock icon and Partridge Family mom Shirley Jones once said, “Hey, dumbass, I was in the musical Oklahoma, and Rodgers & Hammerstein never wrote the lyric: ‘Oh what a beautiful morning, 5 cents per minute from Sprint.’ Rock & Roll ain’t the same today!”

This movie is just the latest reason why Cameron Crowe is – like his hero, the great Billy Wilder – one of the finest writer/directors of our time.

Save a warm spot in your cold heart for Almost Famous. And leave a place on the tour bus for me.

Hold me closer tiny dancer

Count the headlights on the highway

Lay me down in sheets of linen

you had a busy day today

Photos Copyright ©2000 Dreamworks Pictures


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