Almost Famous is like the movie equivalent of a work of actual literature. It is a carefully crafted, well-thought out movie, with characters who develop and change throughout the course of the movie, edifying themes, and all that stuff. It stands well out above the crowd of Gladiators and Titanics as the sort of movie that actually should be eligible for Best Picture. Does this mean I liked it?
Well, no, not really. Call me uncultured, but I would actually rather see a big budget tits-and-explosions movie than a ďfilmĒ. One is entertainment; the other is sort of like English Literature class, which I never liked.
I was able to appreciate this movie for what it was, and I thought it was a fairly successful example of its genre (you know, some movies try to be cerebral and only end up silly). There was a lot of good acting in this movie, though not necessarily by Kate Hudson. She wasnít bad, but she didnít really stand out. Frances McDormand stood out. The kid who played the protagonist stood out and if he wasnít nominated for an academy award he should have been.
It was good that I knew that the story was semi-autobiographical, otherwise it would have seemed a bit silly and unbelievable. I mean, come on, a fifteen-year-old kid writing for Rolling Stone and on tour with a rock band? The only part that really didnít fit in, didnít seem to advance the story too much, was the sudden reappearance of the older sister near the end. Anyway, it was a pretty decent story. Some scenes really stood out for me, like the confession scene in the plane during the electrical storm where they all think theyíre going to die. The protagonistís gradual transformation from uncool boy to fully-fledged adolescent was very well done. Drug use was not at all glamorized. The band was a bit of a stock character, but since this movie wasnít really about the band, it didnít matter all that much.
I am going to give this movie four pints. They are pints of $28/bottle wine: I donít like wine but I know that some people really appreciate the taste and quality of fine wine, and thatís pretty much how I feel about this movie too.