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A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour.



810 ( 44)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 52 wins & 102 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Fedevich ...
Mark Kozelek ...


William Miller is a 15-year-old kid hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming-of-age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo. Written by Filmtwob <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don't fall for it.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Something Real  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,314,646 (USA) (15 September 2000)


$32,522,352 (USA) (23 March 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (DVD extended cut)

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lawrence Kasdan receives "special thanks" credit. Kasdan encouraged Cameron Crowe to revive his oft-discussed personal project and get the movie made. See more »


At the Black Sabbath show where William first meets Stillwater, someone backstage wears a 1997 Black Sabbath Reunion "Devil Twins" T-Shirt. See more »


[first lines]
Elaine Miller: I can't believe you wanna be Atticus Finch. Oh, that makes me feel so good.
Young William: I like him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the music credits at the end of the film, all songs sung by Stillwater are credited to the characters who would have written them. See more »


References Stolen Kisses (1968) See more »


Albert Flasher
Written by Burton Cummings
Performed by The Guess Who
Courtesy of The RCA Records, Label of BMG Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Heart-wrenching, honest, clever; everything I like in a film
27 September 2000 | by (Santa Cruz, CA) – See all my reviews

I've seen a few coming-of-age films, and a few prodigy-cum-genius type films, and of course more than my share of romantic comedy stuff. This film skirts between the lines of all those possibilities and somehow manages to find its way to the viewer intact, deftly and with a whole lot of old-fashioned charisma.

The acting was honest, true to how people behave without getting schmaltzy or over-dramatic. Cameron Crowe gets these actors to all project a belief in themselves and bring that across in a way that we care about what happens to them. I particularly liked the rendition of William Miller by Patrick Fugit, who steals the show as the precocious rock-n-roll journalist. He evokes visions of a young Matthew Broderick or a wide-eyed Michael J. Fox without ever getting corraled into being the "cute but troubled young kid".

Frances McDormand is amazing and well-cast as Elaine the Mom, someone so wrapped up in creating a safe, healthy environment she drives both her children far away from home.

Billy Crudup & Kate Hudson create the tension filled romance that drives the story along; both did a great job & were adroitly evocative of those fast times in the rock & roll fantasyland of the 70's. Billy, as Russell Hammond, teeters on the edge of fame, not wanting to leave his long-suffering bandmates behind but being courted as the band's star by the record company, is palpably torn. He carries William through the whirlwind of emotions and music along with him, showing him a world that is desperate and lonely, even with the whole world seemingly vying for his attention. His casting is also very clever, seeing as how Billy Crudup also sits on the brink of his own stardom & acclaim in real life.

Lester Bangs is William's 'guru', played to perfection by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. A walking oxymoron, he exudes a callous arrogance and at the same time expresses genuine affection for the up-and-comer, sometimes giving William the exact advice he needs to get him through the toughest moments as a rock critic & dealing with the love/hate relationships they seem to engender with everyone in their world of music.

I can't say enough about the awesome casting job, as well as the very detailed set design, costuming & realism to the times. Period pieces are usually difficult to do well; Mr. Crowe did this one genuine and good.

A truly great film, one that I'd heartily recommend to all but the most jaded rock critics.

167 of 192 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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