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Palm Trees California Street Blue Skies
Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

At the end of the day, what we seek is validation. What we seek is harmony with ourselves. We seek to achieve this harmony in whatever way is possible, no matter how abstract or obscure it may seem to the outsider.

These were the thoughts on my mind this past weekend when I finally watched Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous”. After being recommended this movie over and over, and as a lover of films of just about any genre, I felt like it was my lucky day when I saw that it was available to rent. I saw my chance and I took it. And I could not be happier about it.

To those who are not as well-versed in classic 2000 films, “Almost Famous” follows the tour of a fictional rock band in the backburner of sex, drugs and rock and roll from the perspective of a 16-year-old aspiring journalist. Though William Miller is the main character, the standout feature of this film is Miss Penny Lane, portrayed by Kate Hudson in all her hippie dream-girl qualities.

At its barest of definitions, “Almost Famous” is the soft seventies world of my dreams. As someone who was raised on The Doobie Brothers and Fleetwood Mac, I am not a stranger to the psychedelic rock and roll dreamscape of California in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Laurel Canyon has always been on my horizons. In the quintessential scene when young William absentmindedly flips through his sister’s beloved records of “the poetry of drugs and promiscuous sex,” I was charmed to find a handful of my own vinyls in the mix (“Pet Sounds” is an absolute staple of mine). This is a world of music in which I have always connected, and that connection is something that remains mostly indescribable.

What “Almost Famous” addresses is not just the music but the heart. Though many people, like myself, feel an unexplainable attraction to everything about music, from the way the singers dress to the way the records are produced, this film is not for music-lovers. This film is for people who possess the beating vessel of a heart and are searching for a place of comfort in which they can return to, if only in their memories.

Through the chaos of the band’s petty arguments and William’s hysterical, yet endearing mother stands the value of community. It was not the music that invited me into the film. It was not even the undeniable charisma of Penny Lane. No, it was a scene. Following an ensuing dispute about who should be representative of the band, there is undeniable tension on the tour bus. However, there is no one like Elton John to remind someone of the power of memories and turning back to those you love despite any circumstances. As “Tiny Dancer” plays, the characters cannot help themselves and break out into song. Audiences feel the power of the scene, the invigorating spirit of company in its truest of forms: together through it all. In a hushed conversation in the middle of the song, William leans over to tell Penny to whisper, “I have to go home,” to which she poignantly replies: “You are home.”

Identification is everything. As a college freshman, I have been seeking something to identify with here on campus, a place that feels just right for me. I have not found it. Perhaps, I am not meant to find it. Just maybe, none of us are. But, if I can feel just moments of identification and gratification, I know I will be okay.

Watch this film if today you need just a little bit of an escape (and trust me, the California Dreamin dreamland of this film will do just that). Watch this film if you understand the transformative nature of music. Watch this film if today you feel a little bit lost.

What “Almost Famous” reminded me was that we are all on the journey. We are all thinking we are alone. We are all seeking that place of solitude and grace. Whether we find it or not, none of us can tell. But, we can have one hell of a time getting there.

I current serve as the Co Editor-in-Chief for the Her Campus SLU chapter! I love Nora Ephron movies, cups of tea, and trips to the library! When I'm not writing, you can find me playing the New York Times mini games or listening to my favorite podcasts.