" 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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A more appropriate title for this one would have been Bitter Place. This grim film tells the story of a disjointed Long Island family and their search for acceptance among one another.

Indie veteran Seymour Cassel (The Life Aquatic), whom I’ve always enjoyed until this jaded performance, plays Jack Schaffer, or “Pappy” to the family. He lives with his two daughters, Paulie (Elizabeth Moss) and Susannah (Jen Albano). Paulie is out of her mind. When she goes off the prescribed medication, her insane hysterics include running away from home, uncontrollable stupidity, and complete social lunacy.

As if dealing with her weren’t hard enough for the family, “Pappy” and his limousine business aren’t doing terribly well. When Moshe (Glenn Fitzgerald), a pleasant Jewish man, moves into the neighborhood, Jack finally loses it and has a nervous breakdown, because apparently, he really hates Jews. Out of no where, he asks Moshe for religious help to turn is life around.

This unexplainable character break is one of many different “Huh?!” moments this film has. I’ll give co-writer/director Alexandra Brodsky props for keeping away from the awful quirky style, something that other indie films of this nature are having trouble doing. But quirky or no, this family drama is void of all the right necessities; emotion, thought, and heart.