I have a confession to make: I’m a huge fan of the movie industry. I love movies and I love film critics. I’ve been going to movies since I was a kid and crossing my fingers to see a critic I like write a review of the film I want to see. I dream about being a movie critic and writing about movies for a living. When I was younger, I imagined that movie critics just wrote about everything and had access to all of the inside information. I guess I was naive to think that.

The movie and TV industries are always looking for fresh faces to brighten up their industries, and there is rarely a shortage of would-be stars the moment an A-list star retires. In 2016, the industry welcomed a new face to the stage, to the delight of many across Hollywood. As a result, the joyous irony of the industry’s newest talent is that he came from a place that is hardly stranger to Tinsel Town: New York. And rather than making his debut on a major studio big screen, John Cho’s debut was on television, a place that the media and industry itself have largely written off as a vanity project or a stepping stone to Hollywood.

The Internet has become a great place for movie fans, with so many great resources for everything from trailers and reviews to articles and interviews. And many of these movies are available for free on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, meaning you can watch them on your computer, smart phone and tablet.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of Almost Famous. It’s essentially old enough to go to a pub and order a drink. However, in the year 2000, when Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous was out, I want to be Almost Famous.

Allow me to take a detour. I was a teenager in the early 2000s, getting ready for high school. I was a pimple-faced tiny girl who knew absolutely nothing about anything. Everything, with the exception of one teeny-tiny detail. I aspired to work as a journalist. Four years later, I was enrolled in college and on my path to become a writer, but in the year 2000, I had an idealistic, pink-tinted glasses perspective on the world. Politics, the music business, and, in especially, movies. And it was due in large measure to Almost Famous. Let’s be honest about it. The film continues to inspire generations of aspiring writers and music journalists more than two decades later.

Heck, I used to be one of them. I even had a Lester Bangs of my own (OK my version of Lester Bangs). I had Yoda with me. The sensei who would coach me and help me become a better writer. And he succeeded. However, I did not join the realm of JOURNALISM at the same time as David Bowie, Stillwater, or Led Zeppelin. I got to write about Patty Smith and Carlos Santana, for example. If I do say so myself, I even interacted with 50 Cent backstage. However, Almost Famous idealistically exposed me to the age of journalism that I wanted to pursue. And that broke me for the rest of my life.

Almost Famous is the movie that always makes me feel wonderful. Not because the film isn’t excellent in and of itself (it is, don’t get me wrong). No. Throughout the film, there is a calm, easy, and pleasant atmosphere that is devoid of cynicism. All of the characters have a degree of humanity that I believe is currently missing. Wonder Boys is one of the few other films that makes me feel that way. Similarly, Curtis Hanson’s film Almost Famous, which was released the same year as Almost Famous, deals with shattered authors.

I’m not sure what it is about Almost Famous that pulls me in. What is it about working at Rolling Stones magazine that still makes me want to work there? It isn’t the profession’s criticism from the mother. My mother encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. She didn’t mind my extended absences on the road or the long hours I spent composing after a performance. Unlike William’s mother, she is still the greatest (perfectly portrayed by the wonderfully talented Frances McDormand).

And I guess Almost Famous today, 20 years later, symbolizes everything I didn’t do in my career. I never made it to the big, life-changing interview. I never received any prizes, and my work was never published in RS. Isn’t it true that a girl can only dream? However, I should make a point of counting my blessings. I’m not a sourpuss either. Why would I want to be? Even if it isn’t 1973, I still get to write. Hey, now that I have my own site, I’m in control of anything and everything that happens here.

Not to mention the fact that I get to do and write what I want with no one watching over my shoulder. It may not be as good as Rolling Stone, but it’s still a fantastic publication. But the truth remains that Almost Famous is still a wet dream for many 20 years after its debut. Journalists in particular. Even my closest friend (who tragically died away in March due to COVID-19) agreed with me on this. And he enjoyed the film as well. Every ambitious journalist’s fever dream remains unattainable. I’m more than a music writer. But this is a journalistic era. It’s still all about the dream, the fantasy, and the prestige that everyone of us aspires to.

But, yes. I wished I could have a job like the one in Almost Famous. To be honest, I still do. There’s a lot you can do and say about Netflix’s upcoming endeavor. The current epidemic isn’t helping things much, however. To be honest, I can’t wait to go back to the activities I like. Going to concerts, going to the movies, and then blogging about it.

 

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