Cameron Crowe, Filmmaker Extraordinaire

Posted by Miss Ess, November 23, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment
Have you ever felt like someone stole your dream life before you even got a chance to pursue it?  That's how I feel every time I think about Cameron Crowe.  He's a writer, first of all, and a fine one at that, but he also directs and produces. Three of my favorites he's created are Say Anything (writer), Jerry Maguire (writer/director/producer), and Almost Famous (writer/director/producer). 

Say Anything is so cutting, hilarious and real, my friends and I still quote it on a daily basis, even though it came out back in 1989. (Among the most quotable moments: "Joe lies/When he cries".) It's a first love movie about the high school valedictorian and a schlumpy trench coat guy, and it's how so many of us fell in love with John Cusack.  The thing that I like so much about Crowe's writing is that he's both honest and tender.  It takes guts to be either of those things in Hollywood.  The characters he creates are true to life-- they are flawed but lovable. 

Jerry Maguire is one of those characters.  Played by Tom Cruise, Jerry is a sports agent who is fired when he write
s a mission statement, attempting to inspire those at his agency to have more integrity.  When he strikes out on his own, he is only able to retain one client, football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.).  He also has Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) at his side as the only employee from the agency who believed in his mission statement enough to leave the company with him.  When Jerry embarks on a relationship with Dorothy, the integrity he stood for in the office is tested in the arena of his personal life. The movie's kinda cheesy, sure, but I still think it's great and well written.  Hell, for me to like a Tom Cruise movie, it better be!

Almost Famous is Crowe's most blatantly autobiographical film, and this is where my jealousy about his life really rears its head.  The film is about a 15 year old kid who finagles his way into being a reporter for Rolling Stone in the 70s.  He gets to go on the road with rockers Stillwater to interview them.  He also manages to get a crash course in life, partying, women and writing, and we all get to go along with him.  In one incredible scene, the band and its entourage are in a private plane that's in a storm and they think the plane is going to go down, so they all start screaming out their deepest secrets, further complicating the situation when the plane ends up landing, its passengers unscathed.  Crowe really is an expert writer.  Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous each hold a particularly special place in my heart.

Relevant Tags

Cameron Crowe (2), Say Anything (1), Almost Famous (2), Jerry Maguire (2), Tom Cruise (4)