In between binges at the moment? Looking for some midweek entertainment inspiration? We feel ya. There’s nothing worse than spending a chunk of your evening scrolling streaming services because your indecisive ass can’t pull the trigger on something. But fear not, tonight we’re making an executive decision, tonight you’re (re)watching Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous.
The coming-of-age story follows Patrick Fugit as William Miller, a teenage music journalist who hits the road with Zeppelin-like band, Stillwater, lead by Jeff (Jason Lee) and Russell (Billy Crudup). Along the way he falls in love with angelic groupie Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) who is also the on/off girlfriend of the self-absorbed Russell. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll are all dished up as William gets swept up in the glamour and ugliness of touring in 70s. The stacked supporting cast features Frances McDormand as William’s mum Elaine, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a jaded writer and mentor, plus a bunch of familiar 90s/early-2000s faces.
So re-string that acoustic guitar, climb aboard the bus and check out five reasons why you’re tuning into it tonight, below:
Apparently much of the movie, including the “golden god” scene, was based on Crowe’s time as a music journo on the road with The Allman Brothers Band. The idea of the Stillwater refusing to let the story be published also came from when the band played a prank on Crowe by claiming that clauses in their contract wouldn’t allow his article to be published right before he delivered it to Rolling Stone.
Once again Brad Pitt is proving he knows when to hold and when to fold, deciding he was not the right man to play Russell and pulling out of the film during rehearsal. It was definitely the correct move, with Crudup nailing that rockstar steeze and perfectly, and it also led to a few lines about Hammond’s good looks being written, which remained in the film. Only Brad Pitt could somehow make a movie better by not being in it.
With the band on the rocks, everyone pissed off at each other, comedowns and a long road ahead of them, what could lift the spirit of our heroes? The music of course. This scene introduced Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ to a whole new generation and, even though it’s a little soppy, illustrates how music connects us all… nawwwww.
Crowe does a great job of making us feel like we’re along for the ride with the band. Whether it’s in the scene above, the pre-show huddle, or feeling the bumps of the plane, you’re completely sucked into the world of Stillwater, just like William.
Can relate. If you’ve ever had mum on the phone when you’ve been away with mates, at schoolies (gross, but ok) or heading out on the town after just turning 18, you’ll be all-too-familiar with the tone of William’s protective mother in the scene below. “Freaking out” Russell is my favourite scene in the film, hands down: