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Home » Culture and Criticism

The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: Almost Famous

Submitted by on June 5, 2017 – 12:31 PM10 Comments


No, you're a golden god.

Almost Famous has three nominations in my inbox and many other mentions from nominators who figured it was already in the queue. Let's get right to the pitches from Greg, Sean, and the Couch Baron!

  • lengthy? "Theatrical cut was 123 minutes, but TV broadcasts routinely stretch it out to a TNT-special-esque three hours." – CB.
  • familiar/frequent? "Not as much as it used to be, when it played on F/X a lot back in the day, but it still shows up from time to time there, as well as on the pay cable stations." – Sean.
  • classic/award-winner? "Yep, won Best Original Screenplay and was nominated and won a bunch of other awards including Oscars and Golden Globes. The soundtrack won a Grammy." – Greg. "Frances McDormand lost Best Supporting Actress to Marcia Gay Harden playing Captain Obvious in Pollock, and the film didn't even get nominated for Best Picture (not that I'm still bitter…)" – Sean. "Definitely a neo-classic, if partially for the nostalgic 'remember when Cameron Crowe could really make a movie' sentiment it stirs." – CB.
  • "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? CB says not really, but Greg and Sean both point to the Rolling Stone cover story as a qualifier here.
  • "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk; anything with dads opens the ducts for this guy)? Here again, a divergence of opinion; Greg doesn't think so, but CB cites Sapphire's speech about loving a song so much it hurts. Sean: "Wouldn't say I cried, exactly, but I do get choked up a little when William and Penny say goodbye. Also, nowadays, it's admittedly a little tough to watch anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs and not get a little misty-eyed (especially when he tells William, 'The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool')."
  • quote-fest? "Jesus, yes. A partial list: 'Just blowjobs!' 'No, this is not Mary Ann with the pot.' 'You are rebellious and ungrateful of my love.' 'Feck you!' The entire Tiny Dancer scene, ending with 'You are home.' 'You are a dick.' And from my and Joe Reid's beloved Sapphire: 'Can you believe these new girls? They don't even use birth control! And they eat all the steak.' 'We all know what you did to him. I mean, everybody knows. Even Penny Lane.' And: 'This is the maid speaking.'" – CB, backed in most of these by Sean, though Greg thinks the soundtrack is the primary quotable.
  • caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? "The band is on the verge of success and trying to finish a tour without falling apart (or dying in a plane crash). William is trying to write a story for Rolling Stone without becoming friends with the band, and letting the friendship influence the story." – Greg. CB notes Penny's sensei-ing of William and his "unabashed" love in return.
  • "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) Greg drops the very definition of a PFM on us: "I haven't watched it recently but there was a time probably around 2002 when I would go and visit my parents on the weekend. They had a way better cable package than I did and it seemed the movie was always on. No matter what point the movie was at I would watch it almost every time." CB "watched it on Fuse" recently; enough said. Sean owns both theatrical and director's cuts and will still watch it with commercials.

I really loved Almost Famous when I saw it in the theater, and I think I would still like it a lot if I saw it again…but for me, fucking Fabletics is rull tough to get past. Not that foxy mustached Crudup couldn't help me there, but I don't know if this one's aged so well for me.

I don't see this one pulling many no votes, though. Let's find out!

Should Almost Famous make the cover of PFM Weekly?

  • Hell yes (83%, 137 Votes)
  • Hell no (17%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 166

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[Update 11/9/17: This one's Couch Of Famous!]

The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.

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  • Judy says:

    I just introduced my boyfriend to this over the weekend. He's been skeptical for a while and I was like "You will like it!" and he was all "But what if I don't?" and I looked at him like he was crazy and said "We're adults. We can turn it off."

    He loved it.

  • Angie says:

    This movie is my warm cookies and cold milk, despite Ms. Fabletics and the weepiness I feel about PSH. The goodwill from this honestly made me stick with Kate Hudson well past the point where she was making anything I couldn't give two monkey shits about. Also, I love Jimmy Fallon so much in his manager role, he's such a goddamn weasel.

    Favorite lines:
    "Rockstars have kidnapped my son."
    "Your mom kind of freaked me out." "She means well."
    "No, that's ok. Leave me behind. I'm easy to forget. I'm only the FUCKING LEAD SINGER!"

    Also, the whole "11" exchange in the car. And I think Zooey Deschanel is kind of a terrible actress, but she looked adorbz, and her weird, detached whatever it is actually works as Anita. And Fugit is so damn cute.

    Love love love. Poppy field all the way.

  • Sandman says:

    I don't think it's physically possible to hear the line "Rockstars have kidnapped my son" and not love Frances McDormand just a little bit. They're all kind of adorable, really. Even the horrible, annoying people. This one was clearly a labour of the purest kind of love for Cameron Crowe. A solid entry, all the way.

  • Cora says:

    Fuck Ms. Fabletics; all they needed in that role was a skinny blondie. It's the dialogue and camera shots around her that provide her appeal. The reason to watch this movie is Frances McDormand.

    "Now. Go do your best."
    "Yes ma'am."

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    "Don't take drugs!" and the "deflower" scene make this worthy of the fields, as well as "FUCK IT, I'M GAY!" and you suddenly realize that guy hasn't said a word up until now.

  • Greg says:

    I love that "I'm only the fucking lead singer" quote. Poor Jason Lee how is it that of the two male leads from Chasing Amy, Affleck became more famous and by a huge margin? I always thought Lee was a really funny guy who should have been in more stuff. But I guess Chipmunk movies probably pay pretty well. I still use a My Name is Earl keychain that i bought on clearance from the NBC store the year after it was cancelled.

  • Brianne Archer says:

    What about "I am a Golden God"? I have such a soft spot for this movie.

  • Josh says:

    Yeah, this is a win for me. The Manic Pixie Dreamgirl trope normally grates, but it's done so damn well it's easy to give it a pass.

    The plane crash scene is iconic ("Finally, the truth!") and the Tiny Dancer bit is blissful joy and makes me smile and sing along every time.

    Big points for the casting: Fugit carries a tough role and ground the movie, Crudup takes a fairly unlikeable person in Russell and lends enough charm and genial cluelessness to make you understand why people gravitate to him. Jason Lee is excellent as well. But how funny is it that this is unarguably seen as Kate Hudson's best work?

    but really, i could watch this over and over again as William gets advice from the late great PSH on how to bullshit his way past Rolling Stone and then seeing it in action. You just KNOW that happened with Crowe, that it's a true story, because that's the only way it works.

    And of course, as with basically every Cameron Crowe movie ever, the soundtrack is fantastic.

  • Lsn says:

    I have a soft spot for this movie – saw in it the cinema in Syracuse, NY on our first US trip with then boyfriend/now husband. We went from the cinema to the music place to get the soundtrack.

  • Allison says:

    Most of my most-beloved scenes have been mentioned already, but a shout out to the bitchy fact-checker girl at Rolling Stone ("It's gonna take me three days to get through this research! It's all handwritten on little tiny bits of paper!"), everything Jason Lee says ("Is it really that hard to make us look cool?"), and Sapphire face-slamming into the concrete pillar ("So, I'll see you in Topeka!")

    I heard that when they showed the movie on flights, they eliminated the plane scene, which is completely understandable but also a damn shame.

    Also, I find Patrick Fugit to be a delight. I wish he was in more stuff.

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