***Almost Famous*** (2000) ***Running Time***: 122 min. ***Stars***: Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup ***Found at***: PlantzWhen William Miller’s (Fugit) older sister leaves their home, she makes a big impression on him by leaving behind all her records. William grows up living and breathing rock music, despite the warnings of his over-protective and totally un-cool mother. William aspires to be a rock critic, and gets his big break when he is assigned to cover an up-and-coming rock band, Stillwater. He follows them on their tour and falls in love with Penny (Hudson), in a coming-of-age movie set against the rock revolution of the ’70s.
***Comments***: The weakest part of this film is the overall premise. There just isn’t enough body to the story to really fill out two hours of film. There are so many conflicts that come and go and come again that we never get a chance to get emotionally attached to any of the characters. Instead, we are tossed around between tensions that rise inside the band, between the band and William, between William and Penny, and between Penny and the band. Plus mom keeps popping her head in from time to time. Fugit does a tolerable job, though he sometimes fades in and out of stiff delivery, and Hudson’s character is too annoying to fall in love with. If you are looking for some good music and a little background noise, then check this movie out. If not, then leave it on the shelf. ***C***