Monday, October 19, 2009

Where are they now? Cameron Crowe

A post by Nitflicky about the 2000 hit Almost Famous left me with a curious question... where did Cameron Crowe go? He bust onto the scene with the classic teen romance film Say Anything.... Three years later he found a cult following with his ensemble romance film Singles. Then in 1996 he made the career defining Jerry Maguire.

Jerry Maguire rebuilt Tom Cruise as an oscar contender, showed mainstream audiences could buy into a romance-sports film hybrid (a formula hollywood has failed to recreate), and created some of the most memorable lines (and a few really bad country songs). After Maguire Crowe had a blank check to do just about any film he wanted to do. So he waits 4 years, then goes and does a period piece on 70s rockers through the eyes of a teenage writer, Almost Famous. The movie wasn't a box office success but earned him an oscar for writing, a legion of loyal fans, and the opportunity to once again do whatever he wanted.

With such consistent quality, it's not surprise one year later his followup film, Vanilla Sky attracted a series of viewers, making over 200million. Alas though this would begin a sort of ending for the Crowe mastery era. Vanilla Sky was watched by millions, understood by few, and liked by even less. The movie felt rushed, forced, and incoherent, and it's probably because it was rushed. Crowe decided to hold off on his next project waiting 4 years before the creation/release of Elizabethtown. The Orlando Bloom - Kirsten Dunst romance reminded many of Crowe's old school film formula, but it failed to inspire much. The film ultimately limped past its budget of $45million to make a cool 50, but barely held onto a 6.4 rating on IMDB, and was met with a general indifference by filmgoers.

Since Elizabeth town it's been 4 years and still no word on what Crowe will be doing next. On IMDB his only listed film in production is a Pearl Jam Documentary not slated for release until 2011 and still in the pre-production phase. So what's happened to this once herald director? Is he leaving the business? Doing more music videos? Waiting for the next big idea to come along? Crowe is far too talented to be left by the way-side, and I don't think anyone wants to wait 6,7, or even 8 years for another Crowe film... the 3/4 year pace was long enough as is. Has there been any buzz on what he'll do next? Or could it be that the modern film scene just doesn't match Crowe's character driven films? If that's the case, it's a shame, he's a true film talent...

3 better thoughts:

Rae Kasey said...

He was supposed to be doing something called "Deep Tiki" with Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon, but honestly I have no idea where that was headed.

Stiller just doesn't seem like a Crowe leading man, and that title...

Whatever he does next, I have high hopes. Maybe after such a long hiatus he'll be back on his game.

thistimeitwillbedifferent said...

I'm pretty sure Empire Magazine over here ran an article on him not so long ago talking about similar things. You could try a search on their website?

filmgeek said...

When people name their favourite directors you normally expect Hitchcock, Capra, Scorsese, Godard, etc. I have no problem saying mine is Cameron Crowe as I consistently love all of his films and I can't wait for his next film, however long it may take

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