Cameron Crowe Says Penny Lane From ‘Almost Famous’ Is Not An Example Of A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

The Playlist | 9/20/2019 | Alex David Lynch
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There are two sides to the coin every time we choose to pluck a film from the past and observe it—we can focus on what’s gotten better with age and what’s rusted. Often, and it seems to increasingly be the case lately, inflection points in the conversation are focusing on the latter, especially when viewed through 2019’s cultural lens. For better and for worse, everything is examined with a raised eyebrow. That includes Cameron Crowe’s turn-of-the-century classic “Almost Famous.”

Despite its enduring popularity, the film’s presentation of Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane – a figure inseparable from thinking about the movie, thanks to its iconic poster – has received its fair share of criticism in the nearly-two decades since, namely for the character never truly transcending a dream girl trope to achieve her own personality.

Los - Angeles - Times - Premiere - Almost

But while speaking to the Los Angeles Times ahead of the premiere of an “Almost Famous” stage adaptation, Crowe emphasized that was never his intention.

“She was never a manic pixie dream girl to me,” Crowe told the newspaper. “She’s based on a real person who is definitely not a manic pixie dream girl, in the best way. I always thought she was just a soulful, selfless, loving person who was super into community and kept herself a little bit hidden. She lit up a room by knowing everything about everybody.”

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