Cameron Crowe started out as a rock journalist for Rolling Stone
at the age of 15 in The Seventies
. While his colleagues at the magazine were indifferent to (if not contemptuous of) the Hard Rock
, Progressive Rock
, and other popular music of the decade (including such groups/musicians as Joni Mitchell
, Fleetwood Mac
), Crowe was a fan of most of it, and was often the only journalist at the magazine willing or able to snare interviews with those bands/musicians.
Near the end of the decade, Crowe left the magazine and wrote Fast Times at Ridgemont High
, which became a film in 1982 (directed by Amy Heckerling). Dismissed at the time at being merely another teen sex comedy, it has since been Vindicated by History
. After writing a sequel (1984's The Wild Life
) which was nowhere near as successful commercially or critically, Crowe eventually turned to directing in 1989 with Say Anything
. He won an Academy Award
for Best Original Screenplay in 2000 for Almost Famous
, which was based on his time at Rolling Stone
Tropes associated with his work include:
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Except for Vanilla Sky (which has a Bittersweet Ending), all of Crowe's films qualify as this.
- Enforced Method Acting: Or writing, in this case. As mentioned above, he researched Fast Times at Ridgemont High by going undercover for a year at a California high school. Since he was in his early 20's and still looked relatively young, he got away with it.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Elizabethtown features the Trope Namer.
- The Power of Love: Just about every movie he's directed runs on this trope.
- The Power of Rock: Obviously a big part of Almost Famous, but is heavily featured in other films he's done as well.
- Production Posse: Eric Stoltz at one point appeared in everything he wrote.
- Also, his then-wife Nancy Wilson (of Heart) wrote music for every movie he directed up through Elizabethtown.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: All of his films come out as idealistic, though they also show how tough it is to maintain that idealism. Best summed up by a line in Singles, when one character tells another, "You're a realist/dreamer."
- Vindicated by Cable: Except for Jerry Maguire (and to a lesser extent, Vanilla Sky), none of his films were big hits at the box office, but they all became popular on cable, video and/or DVD.