September 21, 2000

Almost Perfect

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Before the previews start rolling, even prior to the purchase of the ticket, you’re positive that you’re going to like it. It’s Cameron Crowe’s highly anticipated film on sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and journalism in the 70s, and it’s likely that you have already decided that it will be your favorite film of the year. This phenomenon is called “hype,” but whether Almost Famous is absolutely deserving is questionable.

The film does live up to the expectations set by the writer’s previous works (Say Anything, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Jerry Maguire). Almost Famous is entertaining and representative of its respective genre, while not offering much true substance.

Cameron Crowe bases the story line around his own experiences while on tour with bands like Led Zeppelin and The Eagles, writing for Rolling Stone and Cream magazines. The film follows fifteen-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit), as he prematurely catches a break writing for these music publications. While on tour with Stillwater, William grapples with the ethical issues of his writing. He grows attached to the bands, but at the same time, struggles while reporting personal, revealing facts about them. And in the midst of contemplating journalistic integrity and partying with the musicians, William falls in love. The object of his young affection is Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a glorified groupie and mistress to Stillwater’s restless front man (Billy Crudup).

As the film’s central figure, Fugit gives a decent debut performance. His naivet