Director Who (Cameron Crowe)

Director Who

Cameron Crowe

Writing Credits
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Wrote for but did not direct. A great 1980’s film. One that I discussed below.

Say Anything (1989)
Genre:Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: John Cusack, John Mahoney,
IMDB: 7.5 of 60,000+ ratings

Now I know you have likely seen a lot of sub-par romantic comedies, but sometimes they can be solid films. Say Anything is a classic, newer rom-com’s borrow from this movie all the time. This film is about an underachieving slacker who falls in love with a valedictorian girl in that beautiful summer after high school, but before college.
Frankly, I find the movie a bit slow, but it has a solid cast and the writing is certainly above average. If you enjoy a good romantic comedy, then you likely will enjoy this one.

Singles (1992)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Starring: Matt Dillon, Tom Skerritt, Campbell Scott, Bill Pullman
IMDB: 6.7 of 20,000+ ratings
The film is about life for Generation X in the late 1980s and early 1990s. About a group of young people who share an apartment together. They are living in Seattle, Washington in the height of the Grunge period in music, but they still desire to be loved.
While the movie has aged considerably, the overall premise is still solid. The ideals that float about this movie still have meaning and the characters are relate-able (Although, twenty-somethings finding affordable apartments aren’t.)

Jerry McGuire (1996)
Genre: Comedy, Drama,Romance
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. Renee Zellweger, Jerry O’Connell, Jay Mohr, Regina King
IMDB 7.3 170,000+ ratings
An interesting and well thought out movie. About a sports agent who decides change his life and become more morally responsible despite the potential consequences to his professional life. He becomes devoted to the only athlete that sticks by him in an effort to show off his new moral bent.
Again, there is a traditional romantic aspect with the movie, but it is well written, and thought out. Managing to have some philosophical principles without getting too preachy.

Almost Famous (2000)
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Starring: Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Jimmy Fallon, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
IMDB: 7.9 187,000+

About a young man in high school who gets the opportunity to write a piece about an aspiring rock band for Rolling Stone magazine.
Another well written movie with an interesting romantic aspect to it. I don’t consider it very funny, but it is relatively light and fun. The acting within it may not be as great as aforementioned Jerry Maguire, but a lot of these then young actors male and female do a wonderful job. This is yet another likable film with a solid script. It seems clear by this point that Cameron Crowe is a competent writer, he doesn’t push boundaries, but he knows what works and does it well.

Vanilla Sky (2001)
Genre:Fantasy, Romance, Mystery
Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee, Kurt Russell, Michael Shannon
IMDB: 6.9 190,000+
A movie about a vein publishing magnate whose life gets turned upside down after a major car accident with a bitter love.

Here is when Crowe attempts to break from the mainstream and attempt an ambitious fantasy project. Depending on who you are, it was either an intriguing piece of cinema, or a ghastly abomination. I consider this movie to be awful and boring. Far from Crowe’s best, but there are people who like the film.

Elizabethtown (2005)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Alec Baldwin, Jessica Beil, Paul Schneider, Paula Deen,
IMDB: 6.4 of 54,994

Another movie that falls short of what could have been. About a man and woman who fall in love at a memorial for a beloved southern matriarch.
The film is easily the worst written of Crowe’s career. Bland and lacking much entertainment value. Despite a talented cast, the script just never got off the ground.
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson
IMDB: 7.1 of 99,000+ ratings

Crowe took a bit of time away from movies after two mediocre at best films, but he came back in 2011 with We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon. A film about a southern Californian family who relocate to rebuild a struggling zoo and reopen it. The film may not have been a spectacular success, but it was far more well received compared to Vanilla Sky and Elizabethtown. It was proof that Crowe could still write and direct a decent movie.

Aloha (2015)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride,

IMDB   Early ratings are suggesting that this movie may be a new low for Crowe unfortunately.

A film about a military contractor who returns to Hawaii where his greatest career triumphs occurred. Meanwhile, he struggles as he finds himself falling for an old love, all the while being challenged by a new officer.


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