Writer-director Cameron Crowe brings the 1970s music scene to life with his semiautobiographical story of a teen journalist who goes on the road with a rock band. Uncool 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is living every teenager's dream. He's touring with Stillwater, an up-and-coming rock band featuring lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee) and charismatic lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and writing about it for Rolling Stone magazine, whose editors are unaware of his young age. Though Miller's mentor, legendary rock critic Lester Bangs portrayed with humor and heart by Philip Seymour Hoffman cautions him not to befriend the musicians, Miller takes it a step further and befriends both the band and the Band-Aids the girls who hang around with the band because they love the music. Newcomer Fugit is the perfect William Miller: baby-faced, slightly gawky, and an awestruck observer. Kate Hudson sparkles as Penny Lane, the leader of the Band-Aids, and Frances McDormand delivers a stellar performance as Elaine, Miller's protective and mildly paranoid mother. In the tradition of SAY ANYTHING and JERRY MAGUIRE, Crowe's coming-of-age tale is intelligent, well written, and infused with humor in unlikely places.