Almost Famous

Rated 4.0 Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical valentine about an “uncool” 15-year-old rookie rock journalist’s rite of passage in the early 1970s is a frothy, comic labor of love. Patrick Fugit stars as the kid scribe who is mentored by pioneering rock critic Lester Bangs and goes on the road with the fictional arena-rock band Stillwater. He becomes attracted to a groupie (Kate Hudson) who is attracted to Stillwater’s lead guitarist (Billy Crudup), who has a girlfriend back home, and watches as the band self-destructs. Bangs provides the film’s golden rule: “To make a reputation, you must be honest and unmerciful.” It’s a dictum that Crowe both repeats and then cheerfully ignores.