Almost Famous is a 2000 film about a fifteen-year-old boy who is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour during the 1970s.
- Directed and written by Cameron Crowe
- You know, because once you go to L.A., you're gonna have friends like crazy. But they're gonna be fake friends. You know, they're gonna try to corrupt you. You got an honest face, and they're gonna tell you everything. But you cannot make friends with the rock stars...If you're gonna be a true journalist -- you know, a rock journalist -- first, you never get paid much. But you will get free records from the record company. Jesus. Fucking nothing about you that is controversial, man. God, it's gonna get ugly, man. They're gonna buy you drinks. You're gonna meet girls, they're gonna try to fly you places for free, offer you drugs. I know. It sounds great, but these people are not your friends. You know, these are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock stars. And they will ruin rock 'n' roll, and strangle everything we love about it, right? You know, because they're trying to buy respectability for a form that is gloriously and righteously dumb. Now, you're smart enough to know that. And the day it ceases to be dumb is the day that it ceases to be real, right? And then it just becomes an industry of cool. I'm-I'm telling ya, you're comin' along at a very dangerous time for rock 'n' roll. I mean, the war is over. They won. And 99% of what passes for rock 'n' roll these days, silence is more compelling. That's why I think you should just turn around and go back, you know, and be a lawyer or somethin'. But I can tell from your face that you won't. I can give you 35 bucks. Give me a thousand words on Black Sabbath...Hey, you have to make your reputation on being honest and, uh, you know, unmerciful...If you get into a jam, you can call me. I stay up late.
- Great art is about guilt and longing and, you know, love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love.
- Show me any guy who ever said he didn't want to be popular, and I'll show you a scared guy. I've studied the entire history of music. Most of the time, the best stuff is the popular stuff. It's much safer to say popularity sucks, because that allows you to forgive yourself if you suck. And I don't forgive myself. Do you?
- We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.
- I always tell the girls, never take it seriously. If ya never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If ya never get hurt, you always have fun. And if ya ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.
- Look at this: an entire generation of Cinderellas and there's no slipper coming.
- Where and when does this "real world" occur?
- Lester Bangs: What, are you like the star of your school?
- William: They hate me.
- Lester Bangs: You'll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle.
- William: [on the phone with his mother, Elaine] I'm fine! I'm fine! I'm flying back on Monday morning. I'll only miss one test. I'll make it up.
- Russell: Tell her you're a slave to the groove. You can't help it!
- William: [to Russell] No. [Russell reaches for the phone] No, Russell... Russell, no! [Russell grabs the phone.]
- Russell: Hi, Mom, it's Russell Hammond! I play guitar in Stillwater. It's my fault. How does it feel to be the mother of the future of rock journalism?... Hello? [Elaine says nothing.] You've got a great kid. Nothing to worry about. We're taking care of him. And you should come to a show some time — join the circus!
- Elaine: Listen to me: your charm doesn't work on me. I'm onto you. Of course you like him.
- Russell: Well, yeah.
- Elaine: He worships you people! And that's fine with you, as long as he helps make you rich.
- Russell: Rich? I don't think so—
- Elaine: Listen to me. He's a smart, goodhearted, 15-year-old kid with infinite potential. This is not some apron-wearing mother you're talking to. I know about your Valhalla of decadence, and I shouldn't have let him go. He is not ready for your world of compromised values and diminished brain cells that you throw away like confetti. Am I speaking clearly to you?
- Russell: [stands up straight] Yes, ma'am.
- Elaine: If you break his spirit, harm him in any way, keep him from his chosen profession — which is law, something you may not value, but I do — you will meet the voice on the other end of this telephone, and it will not be pretty. Do we understand each other?
- Russell: Uh, yes, ma'am.
- Elaine: I didn't ask for this role, but I'll play it. Now go do your best. "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." Goethe said that. It's not too late for you to be a person of substance, Russell. Get my son home safely. You know, I'm glad we spoke. [hangs up on Russell, who is speechless]
- Russell: [calling out to William from a rooftop, overlooking a crowd surrounding a pool] And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were... I'm on drugs!
- [The crowd cheers.]
- William : Russell! I think we should work on those last words!
- Russell: I got it, I got it. This is better. Last words: I dig music. [A few people clap.] I'm on drugs! [The crowd cheers.]
- Elaine: [on the phone] May I speak with William, please?
- Sapphire: He's not here. He's still in the bar with the band. They just got back from the radio station. Is this Maryann with the pot?... Hello?
- Elaine: No, this isn't Maryann with the pot. This is Elaine... his mother. Could you please give him a message? Could you tell him to call home immediately? And could you also tell him: I know what's going on.
- Sapphire: All right. But I'm just going to say this, and I'm going to stand by it. You should be really proud of him. 'Cause I know men, and I'll bet you do, too. And he respects women, and he likes women, and let's just pause and appreciate a man like that. You created him out of thin air, and you raised him right, and we're all looking out for him. He's doing a great job, and don't worry: he's still a virgin. And that's more than I've ever said to my own parents. So there you go... This is the maid speaking, by the way.
- Penny: You're too sweet for rock and roll.
- William: Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark and mysterious, and pissed off! And I could be very dangerous to all of you! You should know that about me... I am the enemy!
- Lester Bangs: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
- William: Well, it was fun.
- Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
- William: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn't.
- Lester Bangs: That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter.
- William: I can really see that now.
- Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it, you got a big head start.
- William: I'm glad you were home.
- Lester Bangs: I'm always home. I'm uncool.
- William: Me too!
- Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool.
- William: I feel better.
- Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.
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