William’s sister Anita leaves home with her boyfriend and William (Patrick Fugit) find’s himself alone with his overprotective, conservative mother (Frances McDormand). His sister leaves him her record collection as a present and he is influenced by the music that sparks a desire to become a music critic. When “Black Sabbath” come to town William get an assignment to do an article for “Creem” magazine. Then “Rolling Stone” magazine contact William and he gets an opportunity to write an article on the band “Stillwater”. He starts travelling with the band but finds it hard to write his article…
This is a very entertaining “coming of age” film set in the world of 1970’s rock bands and music. The film really captures the life of a rising rock band in the 70’s. The music, the drugs, the girls, the travelling, the arguments are all very well portrayed and helped by a good script and good casting. But this film is more about an inexperienced boy’s struggle to become independent and to develop his own identity. William has the dilemma of finding the courage to report what he sees even if it hurts or harms others.
There is plenty of comedy in this film revolving around William’s struggle to develop his own independence and the daily phone calls from his concerned mother.
The all round good casting in this film helps make the whole thing realistic. Patrick Fugit is excellent as the young innocent William and his unlikely friendship with the band which although unlikely is convincing. The members of the band are also convincing and Kate Hudson who plays Penny Lane (she’s not a groupie she’s a Band-aid!) does some of the best scenes with Patrick Fugit. Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays Lester Bangs a music critic and Frances McDormand who plays William’s mother are also good and supply a lot of the comedy in the film.
Lasting thought: The importance of having the courage to be independent and to say what we think in spite of friendship or the illusion of friendship.