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"Almost Famous" may not have been a hit when it first opened on September 15, 2000, but over the years, it's come to pluck the heartstrings and echo in the eardrums of millions of fans. It made a star of Kate Hudson, gave an early career boost to Zooey Deschanel, and won writer/director Cameron Crowe (of "Say Anything" and "Jerry Maguire" fame) his only Oscar to date.
In honor of "Almost Famous'" fifteenth anniversary, crank up Stillwater's "Fever Dog" and check out these facts you may not know about Crowe's semi-autobiographical film.
- Gary Susman
There was a time, surely, when Singles must have felt pretty fresh. It was keyed into a time and place that has all but been enshrined as one the late twentieth century's great creative meccas (early 90s Seattle), and its young creative talent (most notably Cameron Crowe, who was between Say Anything and Jerry Maguire) was working in a form that had not yet ripened into insufferable cliché. Just how well that will translate to the present will vary from viewer to viewer, but on the whole, Singles retains its virtues, if more so as a time capsule than as a romantic comedy.
- Anders Nelson
It’s always exciting when there’s a new feature film being shot in St. Louis! We Are Movie Geeks was recently on the set of The Importance Of Doubting Tom, a romantic comedy set in the world of dart throwing where the “competitions play out echoing and mirroring the games that lovers play”. It’s loosely based on the classic Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Earnest.
The Importance Of Doubting Tom is written and directed by Vanessa Roman, who has been actively working in the local theater and film industry for 15 years. Her first film, Play Dead, won Best Horror Short and Best Juvenile Actress at The St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase and her second, The Inheritance won Best Experimental film at the Toronto Female Eye Film Festival.
Vanessa has assembled a first-rate cast and crew for The Importance Of Doubting Tom.
Director of Photography Chris Benson has shot many commercials, »
- Tom Stockman
Since 2006, Tom Cruise has been reduced to, for lack of a better phrase, a global joke; a quick source for derision, slander, and mockery among the A-List Hollywood performers for the masses to prod at. There was his Jumping the Couch moment on Oprah, the uncomfortable Scientology interview, his termination with Paramount studios, and M:i:iii underperforming at the box office. In short, 2006 was not a good year for the iconic A-Lister.
Despite such set-backs Cruise still produces and stars in critically and financially successful movies, which proves his presence in Hollywood is unscathed. One needs only to look at 2011’s Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which would become Cruise’s highest grossing film to date, or the last few films that have received critical acclaim i.e. Edge of Tomorrow. Further, when one looks at Cruise’s career, one gets a sense that »
- Matthew Lee
At the world premiere of “Trainwreck” at the SXSW Film Festival last March, the loudest laughs from inside the theater came from the film’s director, Judd Apatow. Slumped down in a seat behind his new star, Amy Schumer, Apatow was so invested in the story about a thirtysomething magazine journalist who emerges from a series of one-night stands to begrudgingly find true love that he actually shushed a nearby, mortified fan who tried to open a candy wrapper.
Later, Apatow and Schumer would deliver a standup comedy set in Austin that provided the launching pad for a national tour they’d announce. And “Trainwreck,” which opens today, will keep the laughs coming. Apatow, one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood (“Girls,” “Anchorman 2,” “Begin Again,” “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday,” etc.), has been selective about his own directorial projects. “Trainwreck” is his first film since 2012’s “This is 40, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
It may be trying too hard to be a bit Boyhood, but Keva Rosenfeld’s doc-about-a-doc is part of a revealing strand of Us culture
In any grading of high-school movies, Fast Times At Ridgemont High would earn a distinction. That 1982 comedy comes packed with charismatic performances from such ripening-on-the-tree stars-to-be as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates. Leigh prepared by taking a job at the pizza parlour where her character works; Penn was so Method about playing stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli that he later wrote: “Was I being Jeff or Sean? I felt like there was no Sean. I was immersed.”
That immersion is shared by the book that inspired the film, a non-fiction work of the same name by Cameron Crowe, later to become the writer-director of his own teen gem, Say Anything. Crowe, then 22, went undercover for a year at Clairemont High School, San Diego, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Death is inevitable. That’s a universal truth we all learn at a very early age and as we get older, the reality of that truism becomes more and more evident with each passing day. But what if you didn’t have to die? What if you could live forever? That wish fulfillment was precisely what a then up-and-coming filmmaker Ron Howard explored back in 1985 with his wondrous fable, Cocoon. It’s a remarkable film for many reasons, but what has always made it so memorable for me was the way Howard managed to create such a vivid, dignifying and endearing portrait of octogenarian life that demonstrated how the elderly can still enjoy a fulfilling existence even if the rest of the world no longer recognizes their vitality.
This month, Howard’s wondrously heartfelt fable turns 30 and it feels like the perfect time celebrate this remarkably unique film that defied the odds for many reasons, »
- Heather Wixson
I’m a big fan of positivity, especially when it comes to the film industry, since it seems to be at a premium most of the time. Two weeks ago, filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest movie Aloha opened to rather poor reviews, some of which began to look back and degrade his canon on the whole. In an attempt to keep it positive, I wanted to look back on Crowe’s filmography and rank his work to date, especially since I’m one of the few who feel that he’s basically never had a true “bad” movie. Some of his films are better than the others, of course, but they all have value… Here’s my ranking of the films from writer/director Cameron Crowe: 1. Almost Famous – Crowe’s masterpiece and one of the best films of the last 25 years (along with one of my five favorites of »
- Joey Magidson
This week on The Collider Podcast, Adam and I talk about the films of writer-director Cameron Crowe. We go through and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of all of Crowe's features--Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown, We Bought a Zoo, and Aloha--as well as his breakthrough screenwriting work for Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Over the course of our talk, we try to figure out what defines a Cameron Crowe film and why the quality of his work has declined over his past several films. Click here to download the latest episode of The Collider Podcast or listen below; click here for last week’s episode ("Tomorrowland"); and click here to find us on iTunes. And if you like the podcast, please leaves a positive review on iTunes. We’ll think you’re a terrific person! If you don’t like the podcast, feel »
- Matt Goldberg
Aloha came out last weekend, and the romantic comedy's tropical setting isn't the only thing that will remind you of other movies. The Bradley Cooper/Emma Stone movie comes from the mind of writer/director Cameron Crowe, who has created some iconic films, like Say Anything and Jerry Maguire. Crowe has a distinctive style, and if you've seen a few of his films, you can recognize some of the trademarks. Here's a little field guide to elements that are always in his films. »
Chicago – John Cusack has never rested on his laurels, which are many in his film career, nor stood still as an artist or an actor. His latest film is the magnificent “Love & Mercy,” in which he portrays music legend Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as a middle aged man, trying to break free of the circumstances in his life.
Written by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, and directed by Bill Pohlad, “Love & Mercy” – derived from a Brian Wilson song title – is the story of two crucial phases in the songwriter’s life. The younger phase, portrayed by Paul Dano, checks in with Wilson as he puts together The Beach Boys’ album masterpiece, “Pet Sounds.” At this point, the dissolution of Brian Wilson as Rock Star is beginning, and as a result the older phase of his life comes into view.
And it is John Cusack who takes over »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Writer/director Cameron Crowe was on fire early on in his career, dishing out coming-of-age tales Say Anything and Singles right out the gate. He then dived into major critical success with Jerry Maguire before delivering the fan-favorite Almost Famous, thus cementing himself in the minds of cinephiles everywhere. Many years later came Elizabethtown, then We Bought A Zoo and now we have Aloha. As you can see,... Read More »
- Sean Wist
With his latest effort, Aloha, failing to ignite at the box office, writer-director Cameron Crowe has been on the publicity trail – including giving an interview to Film School Rejects. During their conversation, the subject of Say Anything 2 – a sequel to his always popular debut movie – was broached, and Crowe had some surprising things to say.
Say Anything arrived in theatres in April 1989, and has remained an audience favourite ever since. Starring John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, and Ione Skye as Diane Court, the story charts the development of their complex romantic relationship between High School graduation and Diane’s scheduled departure for college. Also starring John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Pamela Adlon, Jeremy Piven and Eric Stoltz, the film became legendary for its depiction of youthful infatuation, and made a bona fide movie star out of John Cusack – thanks to a brilliant performance, and a simple shot of him holding a boom box over his head. »
- Sarah Myles
Cameron Crowe is in need of a hit. His latest effort, Aloha, has been savaged by critics, while audiences have been staying away from it. In fact, Aloha has proved to be such an disaster that moviegoers are wondering if Cameron Crowe has lost his edge. But it sounds as if the Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire filmmaker has devised a possible antidote to his current problem: he has ideas for a sequel to Say Anything, one of his most endearing films. And he.s got huge plans for the potential follow-up. Cameron Crowe made this admission to Film School Rejects, where he admitted that he has recently been spending a lot of time thinking about the character of Lloyd Dobler (who was played oh-so expertly by John Cusack back in 1989). Crowe has previously insisted that he would be interested in making a sequel, and now it.s clear that »
Cameron Crowe‘s career has stumbled a bit as of late, but nothing will take away the fact that he wrote and directed Say Anything…, still one of the best loved movie romances of all time. 26 years later, fans are still curious about the fates of Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court — and it sounds like […]
- Angie Han
Everyone complains that Hollywood doesn't make original movies anymore, but when the studios actually do, they don't always know how to sell them. That was the lesson of "Tomorrowland" last weekend, and it's the source of this weekend's cautionary box office tale involving two more original wide-release movies, "San Andreas" and "Aloha."
Neither movie got very good reviews, but "San Andreas" was generally considered a sure thing, while "Aloha" was expected to disappoint. In fact, "San Andreas" opened on top with an estimated $53.0 million, well above the $35-to-$40 million pundits had predicted. Conversely, "Aloha" debuted in sixth place with an estimated $10.0 million, at the bottom end of its meager $10-$13 million expectations.
Though one is a big-budget disaster movie and the other a mid-budget romantic dramedy, the two films had a lot more in common than you might think. And yet, those elements proved an asset to one and a detriment to the other. »
- Gary Susman
Even a starry cast led by Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, a counter-programming bid against action-heavy “San Andreas,” a romantic Hawaiian setting and a beloved director weren’t enough to keep “Aloha” afloat in its opening weekend.
Sony’s long-awaited Cameron Crowe romantic comedy, which washed ashore laden with a heavy cargo of bad buzz and brutal reviews, landed in sixth place this weekend with $10 million at 2,816 locations in the U.S.
But Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer said the opening was “within the studio’s expectations,” and pointed to the B+ CinemaScore for the Cooper, Stone and Rachel McAdams starrer as indication that the troubled film could hold well in coming weeks.
“We’re proud of the film,” he said Sunday. “Our very talented cast is great and we believe it will leg out nicely. There are so many special moments, so it’s very satisfying for audience members. »
- Dave McNary
People have a pretty intimate relationship with music. The song that was playing when you had your first slow dance, broke up with that certain someone, or lost your virginity will rank higher for you than it will for some random listener. Even bad songs have a way of causing flashbacks, for better or worse. So when a movie ties a song to imagery we never imagined while making out in the back seat, it can shake up our reality a little. Say Anything permanently connected Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” with boom boxes and early-morning wake-ups, and who among us can hear Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” without regretting that they spent good money to see Sleeping with the Enemy? Here are some other songs that celluloid changed forever.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Poltergeist (1982) – A whole generation hears this song with a sense of dread thanks to its »
- M. Robert Grunwald
"Cameron Crowe Has Considered a Say Anything Sequel" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »
- Jack Giroux
Though widely praised for his first few films including greats like "Almost Famous," "Jerry Maguire" and "Say Anything," filmmaker Cameron Crowe has not had a good run since the turn of the millennium.
"Vanilla Sky" was not well-regarded, "Elizabethtown" even less so and the more recent "We Bought a Zoo" seem to come and go without a whisper. Now he's back with the rom-com "Aloha" which includes the beloved Emma Stone and well-liked Bradley Cooper teaming for something fairly formulaic that should be an easy sell. Chuck in great supporting talent like Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski and it should be - even at worst - non-offensive.
Unfortunately it's not going down that way. Critical reviews haven't just been bad, they've been scathing with the film scoring a 19% and 4.3/10 on Rotten Tomatoes along with a 40/100 on Metacritic. Trying to combat the bad buzz, Sony »
- Garth Franklin
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