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Almost Famous October 24, 2006 Tuesday

Almost Famous (2000)
Rating: star star star star star
Actors: Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup
Director: Cameron Crowe

I haven't watched movies in a while and particularly, I don't watch movies first thing in the morning. I'd rather use that precious part of the day to study, when my thinking is still fresh and fertile. As I surfed to watch the morning news over breakfast, I stumbled on the openning of 'Almost Famous'. I don't know who, but someone told me it was a good movie. Before I knew it, I was sucked into it.

Wide-eyed 15 year old from a cracker-barrel town gets the chance of a lifetime writing for Rolling Stones Magazine and touring with a rock band, Stillwater, on a cross-country odyssey. The landscape is littered with groupies, booze and drugs. Think Wonder Years crossed with The Doors.

Kate Hudson stole the show on this one. She was the spice that perked up all the flavors in this movie. Her disarming charm, vulnerability and hedonism on screen reminded me of Drew Barrymore, who has this uncanny ability to disarm her audience. Additionally, Kate has the promising giggle of her mom, screen legend, Goldie Hawn.

The movie makers were right on the money using Elton John's Tiny Dancer and Mona Lisas and Madhatter as soundtrack. That was just spot on...or maybe I'm just an Elton John fan (the old songs with Bernie Taupin). The entire movie was sprinkled with music from the 70s that just threw me back in time. The music did it for me, I had to play my Elton John collection as I write this.

The Ending
Don't worry, I won't give it away. It wasn't since Thelma and Louise since I saw a wonderful movie not ruined by a cheesy ending, as American movie tradition goes. Everyone stayed real, choosing the obvious path. It's refreshing to see that kind of intelligence in an average low budget red-neck film.

Ending Thoughts
This movie simply pushed all the right buttons for me - the innocence (and the loss of it), the naiveté and purity of youth, hedonistic excess, the subtlety of life's comedy, and the wonder of living inside a rock & roll fantasy. I related to the 15-year old protagonist and the not-so-benign world that opened up to him as human drama played itself, with him on the ringside seat. During that genre, I was probably his age, just as wide-eyed, just a curious and just as wanting to dip my fingers to things almost-beyond-reach. Fast-forward to the present, I'm still just as wide-eyed and curious. The world remains infinitely fascinating.

--- TheLoneRider


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