Cameron Crowe is a person whose teenage years should be an inspiration to everyone. While still in school, he became a music journalist for the famous Rolling Stones magazine and went on tour with the then popular The Allman Brothers Band. He later nearly died in a plane crash with members of the band The Who, wrote notes for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first live album, all at the age of fifteen. In time, he became a director and screenwriter who dealt with the lives of teenagers in his films, so he decided to have fun with his teenage story.
Crow wrote the screenplay for this feature film, closely related to his life. His main character is 15-year-old William Miller, who set up the shop in 1973. William is still a student and is trying to break into the world of music journalists. Due to the circumstances, he got the opportunity to go on tour with the popular band Stillwater, and the Rolling Stones hired him to write a text about him. William tries to be professional and realistic, but he gets into trouble because he gets too close to the musicians and the team, and he gets confused whether to really write everything he sees, what is happening and what he knows. In addition, for the first time, he discovers the charms of love and his boyish sense of right and good helps the team on tour several times.
It is simply fascinating how the screenwriter managed to present the world of a young journalist in such an incredibly rich and detailed way, who found himself in a very enviable situation for which he was not yet ready. There are so many small moments and scenes that evoke the persuasiveness and authenticity of everything we see, from the boy discovering music through his sister’s records, to his mother’s sharp opposition to rock music, to the petty individual and group rituals of band members before going on stage.
In addition, the great love that surrounds William in his endeavor is evident. Primarily from his very difficult and overly protective mother who delivers to him nothing but sincere maternal care and love. Such is the case with Lester Bengs, a well-known music critic who teaches William journalism, as well as with band members who, although often in their problems and disagreements, accept William as part of themselves, and even a group of girls led by Penny Lane. his sense of loneliness makes her feel less lonely.
Crow bases his scenario on a road trip, but on a journey in which each of the passengers discovers himself and changes. We see the biggest change in William, and we know that it is the same change that Crowe experienced during his teenage years. As a man who looks back on his younger years, he knows that without these people, he would not be the same person, and somehow it can be said that such an emotional scenario represents his kind of gratitude. That is exactly why Crow accepted the director’s baton, because another director would miss the small details that enrich the film, and eventually the dose of emotion and intimacy that permeates the film would be lost. He is simply convinced that he would best show his personal feelings about that topic, time and characters on the screen.
A big plus to the positive impression is that the music that marked that historical period, and thus Crowe’s own childhood. It was the musicians who made his favorite songs that inspired him to become what he is. In the soundtrack we have such greats as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Beach Boys and many others. Even the stuff played by the fictional band Stillwater is great.
The team that took part in this film is top notch and did the job perfectly. First of all, we should mention Patrick Fugit, who portrayed a boy who is completely devoted to a new world full of ego and hedonistic fun. The full hit is the actress Kate Hudson, who wanders aimlessly through the world of romantic comedies in her career, and this time she proves that she is a really great actress. Her character is constantly trying to turn everything into fun, even though great sadness and loneliness are visible in her eyes. I will also mention the old guard Frances McDormand as William’s mother and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bengs, as well as Jason Lee.
This is one great movie that takes you back to the best days of rock with all that surrounds it. Full of warmth and love, full of emotions, technically perfect to the last detail, with top acting and a lot of good music, what more could you want than a movie.