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Film 2194B-001

23 January 2018

An Overlooked Film: The Case for Almost Famous

            The film, Almost Famous, exemplifies a bildungsroman
for William Miller, as it explores the influence that rock music has on youth
culture. As 15-year-old William chases his dream as writer for Rolling Stone magazine,
he becomes wiser beyond is years as he is faced with great professional responsibilities
and heartbreak. Almost Famous illuminates a bildungsroman through William’s experiences on tour with
Stillwater, as the band’s desire for success distorts William’s once flawless image
of Rock’N’Roll.

            In 2000, Almost Famous, directed by Cameron Crowe was
released, presenting a becoming of age story in the United States. William
experiences everything stereotypically involved with Rock’n’Roll, as he gets
invited to tour with the 1970’s band Stillwater, to unpack the truth behind the
band, and write a story. Groupies, better known as “Band Aids”, end up “deflowering
the kid”, while his mother anxiously calls and repeatedly demands him, “Don’t
take drugs!”. Additionally, the main Band Aid, Penny Lane, becomes William’s
lover throughout the course of the film, who is instead in love with the band’s
lead singer, Russell who trades her in a poker game for “50 bucks and a case of
beer”. As she tries to overdose out of heartbreak over Russell, the band
struggles to stay together as members, Russell and Jeff, compete for power
within the band, as tensions rise for having the perfect interview with William
are unlikely. William is then faced with pressure to write something that is in
their favor or the truth.

            Although William’s experience on tour with Saltwater
becomes distorted by the reality of the band’s flaws and exposure to Rock’n’Roll
culture of drugs and sex, he stays the same genuine character that he was
before he left for tour. Although partially corrupted, he stays true to his
self, leading him to success as a journalist.

Word Count: 300















Crowe, Cameron. Almost Famous. Universal City, CA:
DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2001.

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