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Parents' Guide to

Almost Famous

By M. Faust, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Great, but lots of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

Movie R 2000 122 minutes
Almost Famous Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

Great Movie for Teens Who Are Ready

I loved this movie when it first came out, and I am looking forward to being able to watch it with my teen. I am holding off due to the normalization of drug use, but the central character does have an awfully good time without them. There are actually some strong anti-drug messages in the movie as well, which may help balance the impact. There are some inappropriate sexual relationships (adult men with teenage girls-maybe they are 18 and the men are 20-somethings, and it was the '70s, but still, not great). Overall, though, a great coming-of-age story about an ambitious teen boy navigating an adult world in a mostly-responsible way. The characters are endearing, and the central character does offer a mostly-good role model through his responsibility and kindness toward others as he navigates some interesting ethical questions and comes through with integrity. A solid 14 year-old may be able to handle the sex scenes and nudity, but it may be best to wait until 16 for this one, depending on teens' maturity level and parents' comfort with exposing kids to sexuality (uncommitted sexual relationships abound in this flick).
age 13+

Great Movie and Pretty Accurate too.

This is a very funny movie. I saw it in the theaters when it was released but also watched it last night on DVD with my 14 year old daughter and she really enjoyed it. Yes there are a few bad words but all in all this is a really tame R-rated movie. You can really have fun with discussions afterward about "the rock lifestyle" and how things have changed. The main character, a 15 year old boy, ends up writing an article for Rolling Stone Magazine. I thought it was good for my daughter to see that something like that could happen with a bit of perseverance, pushiness and talking to the right people. This is loosely based on Cameron Crowes life and he directed it so I guess he ought to know. Very good movie overall.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (13 ):

Despite taking place in the middle of the raucous 1970s, this film is a timeless coming-of-age story that will appeal to viewers regardless of whether or not they were around during the era. Teens will certainly be amused by the period fashions and attitudes, but they'll also respond to the characters, who deal with issues that have always plagued young people. Of course, this was the era of "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll," and Almost Famous doesn't shy away from showing the excesses of life on the road. But the movie always paints them as just that -- excesses. When rock star Russell takes advantage of his celebrity at a small-town party, his indulgence in alcohol and drugs nearly costs him his life. Penny Lane, who, like her fellow "band aids," is insulted when anyone calls her a groupie, comes to see that there's scarcely a difference. She eventually realizes that sex is not a game and not free of consequences.

Older audience members will delight in the way that Crowe (Jerry Maguire) has captured the 1970s, with a clear but affectionate eye for the styles and attitudes of the times. His use of music is especially canny; the Stillwater songs (cowritten by Crowe and his wife, Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson) sound right at home with the sterling selection of actual songs from the pre-disco days. Patrick Fugit's star-making debut as the young hero William is but one of many funny and touching performances. Frances McDormand, the star of movies as diverse as Madeline and Fargo, continues to prove she's one of today's finest actors.

Movie Details

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