Why Almost Famous Is One Of The Best Movies Ever Made

Almost Famous Film Poster.

Copyright 2000, DreamWorks Pictures

Almost Famous Film Poster.

At a very young age, I fell in love with the art of cinema. The way a movie can captivate you and transform you in just a couple of hours was mind boggling to me, and I could never get enough. From Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, to Alfred Hitckcock’s Psycho, to Christopher Nolan’s Inception, I became almost addicted to watching movies. 

I typically research movies on my own that I want to watch, and being extremely stubborn, I usually do not take others’ advice on the films that I should watch. However, on a Friday night when I had nothing else to do, my dad suggested we watch Almost Famous. Little did I know, in two hours, I would quickly have a new favorite movie of all time. 

The director Cameron Crow, who was already famous for his hit movies Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Say Anything… , and Jerry Maguire, made Almost Famous as a love letter to his mother. It is a semi-autobiographical account of his life as a young Rolling Stone reporter who traveled with a band on tour as a teenager. Just like in his real life, in the film, the main character, William Miller, is an outcast with an anxious and protective mother, played by Frances McDormand. He lands a job writing for Rolling Stone, leading him to get an opportunity to interview an up and coming band called Stillwater. He specifically follows Russell Hammond, played by Billy Crudup, the biggest star of the band. While on tour with the band, he gets to know (and falls in love with) Penny Lane, a teenage girl who is a fan of Stillwater, played by a young Kate Hudson. 

There are so many things that make this movie stand out, including the music. The soundtrack in the movie is undeniably brilliant. Some of the songs included are “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, which the whole band sings on the bus (easily one of my favorite scenes in the film), and “The Wind” by Cat Stevens when Penny Lane is dancing alone on an empty stage.

Although the music and story are great, the thing that made this movie an all time favorite was its reliability. I have seen tons of movies, but until Almost Famous I have not seen a movie that could reach out and relate to anyone in this way: If you are a kid who is feeling lost in the stages of growing up, if you are a parent filled with anxiety about your kid becoming an adult, or if you are a teenager who is consumed by something you love so much that you would do anything to chase your dream, there is a message for you. Throughout the whole movie, we are along for the ride that William Miller is embarking on, on that tour bus. We witness the ups and downs of every experience, and the lessons he learns on the way. Everything from sex to drugs to eartbreak to love, we see what William learns from his experiences, causing the audience to take those lessons with them even after they leave the theater, or turn the television off. 

The greatness of this movie is hard to explain, so I urge you to watch it to see for yourself. A warning though, Tiny Dancer will be stuck in your head for a while…