" She came at me in sections. More curves than a scenic railway. "
— Fred Astaire, The Bandwagon

MRQE Top Critic

Almost Famous

Director Cameron Crowe extends his autobiographical homage to 70s rock —Risë Keller (DVD review...)

Patrick Fugit is Almost Famous

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Who would have thought sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll could be so dull? This new “experimental” film features explicit sex, people befriending drugs, and nine live performances by nine different British rock bands. Although the idea sounds glamourous, the end result is remarkably uninteresting. What hope I had for fresh filmmaking was washed away by the gratuitous sex that seemed to never end.

The plot is simple, but flimsy. While Matt (Kieran O’Brien) is traveling around the South Pole, he starts to reminisce about past relationship with old girlfriend Lisa (Margo Stilley). Apparently, they went to concerts and had sex, because that’s all he can seem to remember about her. We watch them cheer during live performances, then have sex. This is repeated 9 times. The relationship between the two has some subtle redeeming qualities, but the lack of social interaction outside of the bedroom extinguishes all hope of making them important to us. Ultimately, the only thing to care about was what position they were going to try next.

Matt cryptically narrates the film, often kicking the viewer in the crotch with the most horridly pretentious philosophical dialogue. Right before a sex scene, he states: “The Antarctic is the planet’s memory. Claustrophobia and Agoraphobia, in one place — like two people in a bed.” Thanks Matt, how blissfully profound.

Whether coitus in feature films is utterly pointless (Brown Bunny), or emotionally affective (Ken Park), the emerging concept of real sex has been raising eyebrows among audiences across the nation. Personally, I can’t fathom what Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) was trying to prove by writing and directing a film where people are having sex 70% of the time, while character development is virtually nonexistent. Perhaps he was trying to create a sort of unique beauty or rare connection between characters. Unfortunately, this “beauty” or “connection” doesn’t come during the 69 minutes of screen time. Pun very much intended.