Expectations were high for Cameron Crowe’s Seattle-based romantic-dramedy, Singles. After the success of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Crowe made his directorial debut with Say Anything... Singles seemed like it was timed perfectly to coincide with the grunge movement, but it didn’t connect with audiences the way the studio hoped it would. Before the movie hit theaters, Crowe was interviewed for the September 1992 issue of Movieline magazine by his friend and fellow rock fan, Pamela Des Barres. Fans of Crowe’s movies will likely recognize Des Barres as one of the inspirations for the character of Penny Lane in Almost Famous.
Cameron Crowe is turning 60 today. He graduated from high school at 15 and had already begun to establish himself as a writer; he soon was the youngest person on the staff of Rolling Stone. He was able to get interviews with, and do stories on, a number of big acts of the 1970s. He then spent a year “undercover” at a San Diego area high school, which he used as the basis for the book and screenplay Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He then wrote the screenplay for The Wild Life, after which he was able to get support from filmmaker James L. Brooks for his first directing effort, a movie that is now considered one of the classics among teen romances, if not all romances.
Cameron Crowe started writing for Rolling Stone magazine at age 15. At 24 he went back to high school undercover and wrote a book about teen mores in the early 80s. He then adapted that book into a script for a high school comedy that helped define the genre. From there it was a short step to directing. Crowe went on to write and direct a series of character-driven films that were popular with critics and audiences. Then he began to fall off. His most recent film was one of the year’s biggest flops and was widely derided for a crucial piece of miscasting.
What the hell happened?
As we get into the second round of our 1996 bracket game, the pairings are a little less organic than they were in the first round. There really isn’t another movie in the bracket game that would make for a natural match with the horror-comedy, Scream. But I can’t think of anything it might have in common with the Oscar-nominated rom-com, Jerry Maguire. Good thing I was able to find a picture of Tom Cruise looking like Ghostface!
Orlando Bloom starred in one of the biggest movie trilogies of all time, and followed it up by starring in another one of the biggest trilogies of all time. He’s worked with Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, and Cameron Crowe. He was supposed to be the next big thing.
What the hell happened?
Winter of 2011 saw the release of two comedy-dramas starring members of the cast of the Ocean’s Eleven films that dealt with a family coming to grips with the loss of a wife and mother. Both films were written and directed by A-list talents after a relatively long sabbatical. We Bought a Zoo and The Descendents were both released with great expectations, but at least one of them fell a little short. With so much in common, which film comes out on top?