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Tag Archives: Cameron Crowe

Say Anything

say anything

Image credit: Say Anything, 1989


This past week I had the pleasure of celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early at my local drive-in movie theater with a screening of Say Anything (DVD/Download). Without being tacky, I’ll just say that this movie is best watched from the backseat. It’s not really a movie that celebrates cocktails in any way, but it DOES feature one of the greatest romantic leads in cinematic history, Lloyd Dobbler.

What can be said about Lloyd Dobbler that hasn’t already been shouted from the rooftops by every teenage girl? As Lloyd, John Cusack is a guy so great that he could only ever exist in the movies. I feel almost bad for him that he’s lovesick over Diane Court “whoa”, a smart, pretty girl who will never truly appreciate what she has (he gave her his heart and she gave him a pen.  I rest my case).  This is a guy who will stand outside your house with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel, with no hint of embarrassment. This is a guy who will not comment on the fact that you are WAY overdressed for a high school keg party, then end the night by being a dependable designated driver.  Who is this guy? He’s Lloyd Dobbler. And goddamn it he doesn’t want to sell, buy, or process anything.

Lurking over the love story of Lloyd and Diane (besides her father’s IRS troubles) is brainy Diane’s eventual move to England on a scholastic fellowship. Lloyd, being a well-travelled army brat, offers to give her tips- English tips (whatever that means). I’m assuming those tips would include the knowledge that Pimm’s No. 1 is an amazing British liquor export and should be drunk whenever possible. Plus, for a Valentine’s Day cocktail, you can’t get much more festive than this one. While watching Say Anything, I recommend drinking a Pimm’s Royale.

Pimm’s Royale

1.5 oz Pimm’s No. 1

4 oz pink champagne

Strawberry for garnish

Pour Pimms into a champagne flute, then top with champagne. Garnish with a strawberry.

Pimms Royale

Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, Say Anything features amazingly astute dialogue, great music, and above all, teen angst. To me, it’s his greatest achievement as a filmmaker, and Lloyd his greatest character. Sometimes, it just takes the simple courage to pick up a phone and call the girl up. Lloyd gives us all hope. Cheers!


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Image credit:  Singles, 1992

Image credit: Singles, 1992

Talk about a 90’s time capsule. Watching Singles (DVD/Download) is like curling up in a flannel shirt, putting on a Pearl Jam CD and sipping a tall Costa-Rican blend coffee from Starbucks. You can literally feel the grunge rock pulsating from the screen. Singles set the stage for other, perhaps better, movies and TV shows about a group of friends in their 20’s talking about relationships (ie. Reality Bites and Friends), but this film has something nothing else does. That’s right, I’m talking about young Eddie Vedder.

Singles follows the lives of several young attractive people all living in the same apartment complex in Seattle. They talk about dating, breast implants, calling vs. not calling, exes, music, etc. Basically, Melrose Place with an actually decent script. And, Matt Dillon has…. maybe the worst movie wardrobe I’ve ever seen.

I’m extremely tempted to make a Matt Dillon to go with this movie*, but I’m not that mean (though it would be pretty grunge). No, this week I’m paying tribute to that great Seattle export, coffee. Specifically, coffee shops where you can sit and talk for hours, or work on your laptop, and act like you’re doing something meaningful with your life. Seattle-born Starbucks has given rise to a whole slew of coffee-related beverages that, let’s face it, have very little to do with coffee. Pumpkin-caramel-soy-latte anyone? This week, while watching Singles, I recommend drinking a Caramel Macchiato Martini.

Caramel Macchiato Martini

1.5 oz Patron XO Café

1 oz butterscotch schnapps

1 oz white crème de cacao

2 oz half and half

Cinnamon Sugar

Rim a martini glass with cinnamon sugar and set aside. Mix Patron XO, schnapps, crème de cacao, and half & half in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into prepared glass. Put on some Soundgarden and contemplate wearing that pork pie hat in the back of your closet.

Caramel macchiato martini

What excites me to no end is the fact that director Cameron Crowe used young grunge newbies Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell as musicians/actors in the movie. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on both of them, and my GOD Eddie Vedder looks so young. Also, kudos for the jokes about video dating – I love that this was once a thing, and I love that we can now watch these gems whenever we want: . Thanks YouTube! And Cheers!

*for those not in the know, a Matt Dillon is the drink that bartenders offer you when you’re out of money. They take a well-used spill mat, fold it, and pour the contents into a shot glass. Bottoms up.

Almost Famous

Image credit Columbia Pictures, Almost Famous, 2000

Image credit Columbia Pictures, Almost Famous, 2000

A recent revelation from my music-loving husband inspired this week’s Cinema Sips pick. The man who has an entire room devoted to vintage audio equipment and vinyl records had *gasp* never seen Almost Famous (DVD/Download). How was this possible? I asked myself. You know that scene in a Lifetime movie where the woman realizes that the man she’s married to is full of deep dark secrets and she really doesn’t know him at all? Yeah, it was like that. One of the few movies of the last 20 years that I considered an instant-classic when it was released, Almost Famous is a love letter to rock n’ roll. In short, I consider it essential viewing for any music lover.

Almost Famous is a semi-autobiographical tale written and directed by Cameron Crowe about his time as a  teenage journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. In real life Crowe toured with bands such as The Allman Brothers, but in the movie, young journalist William Miller goes on the road with fictional band Stillwater. Of course sex, drugs, and debauchery abound as William is taken under the wing of lead guitarist Russell (played to perfection by Billy Crudup), and he struggles to balance his love for the band against his journalistic integrity. Acting as the Obi-wan of rock journalism and life is the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his best roles as rock critic Lester Bangs. He spouts words of truth such as, “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” Deep. And let’s not forget the breakout star of this film, which was Kate Hudson. This was the first role I ever remembered seeing Goldie Hawn’s daughter in, and she really killed it as Band Aid Penny Lane. Funny, exciting, and heartbreaking, she really brought the character alive.

My drink this week is not actually a cocktail, but rather, a beer.  Considering this film again, I realized that the characters in it were not really cocktail folk.  These were “sell your groupie to another a band for a six-pack of Heineken” folk.  My true drinking inspiration came midway through the film, as Russell drinks a beer laced with acid.  How fortuitous then that the new “it” beer for craft breweries happens to be acidic sours!  I had the pleasure of tasting some sour beers at Jester King Brewery outside Austin, TX this summer, where I learned that this type of beer is made by adding wild yeast strains and/or fruit to the brew, giving it its tart, sour taste.  No illegal psychotropic drugs required.  When watching Almost Famous, I recommend drinking your favorite Sour Beer (top brands in my opinion are Lindemans, Jester King, and Lost Abbey).

Sour Beer

What I love most about Almost Famous is the profound love that all the characters have for music. As Zooey Deschanel prophesizes early on, the records under the bed will set you free. I have to say, I completely agree. I had many of the same records in my teenage bedroom (even a few of them on vinyl because I was hip even then) and listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” or Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” made me excited to leave home and figure out what else was out there in the world waiting for me. Perhaps you readers have some favorite records that set you free when you heard them. If so, I’d love to know what they are. In the meantime, I’ll be watching Almost Famous with a sour beer, and maybe later going through my albums so I can visit some old friends. Cheers!