There are certain movies that go deep. They do not have to be masterpieces, or have a complex narrative to captivate us. It only suffices that they strike a certain chord. And that is achieved by the simplest stories.
Cameron Crowe knows a lot about that, and he shows it perfectly in his masterpiece, “Almost Famous”. Whether it’s Seattle in the early 1990s or California in 1973, his storytelling skills are no accident. For most of the 70s, and as a teenager, he worked for Rolling Stone magazine, interviewing all the musicians on the scene. With his honest and devoid of cynicism gaze, he did not show us those inflated and powerful “rock gods”, as many people like to describe icons, but he presented us with people very similar to us: with flaws, vulnerabilities, dreams and wishes. And, above all, with a close and everyday sensitivity.
For “Almost Famous,” Crowe draws on his own life to craft the story. A teenage rock fanatic has the opportunity to go on tour covering a group on the threshold of success. As a protective mother, the boy looks at the world with his own innocent and inexperienced eyes. He began his passion for rock and roll thanks to a beautiful legacy from his older sister, a collection of classic albums such as “Pet Sounds”, “Blonde On Blonde”, “Revolver”, “Axis (Bold As Love)”, “Led Zepppelin II” and “Tommy”.
In the midst of so many tours, changed schedules, something is clear: throughout the journey that the protagonist makes, he never leaves home emotionally. The figure of his mother is always present, stopping impulses and looking more from outside the circus that surrounds him. The goat does not rebel against this situation, rather it seeks its own identity and takes note of the stimuli that surround it. He is able to combine the taste fostered by his mother for books and the humanistic search with the genuine and human passion that overflows rock at a crucial point in his speech, just before the industry took over the business.
The girl on the poster who went around the world is the impossible love of the young protagonist. A girl who follows the bands. A candid but enigmatic girl. The inspiring muse of many who seems straight out of a fairy tale. He does not even reveal his real name. Everyone knows her as Penny Lane, who in perspective is one of the ideal girls that Crowe has shown us in his films. The perfect girl, the one with the right song, the one who knows how you feel, the one you can always turn to. Within the factuality of the story, this idealization takes things to a dream plane.
Notable moments in the movie there are many. And they come from the hand of an excellent sound band, which helps to create magnificent and unforgettable paintings. From Led Zeppelin to The Who, the sequence that stayed in our memories forever was the one with Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” as its central axis. Who did not feel on that bus? What is your favorite moment from “Almost Famous”?