Filmmakers generally don’t aim to create a time capsule when they make a contemporary film, but some turn out that way. A case in point is writer-director Cameron Crowe’s “Singles” (1992), the title of which has three meanings: 1) It explores what it’s like to be a single person in a time when it’s becoming less of a societal stigma, and dating is becoming scarier due to knowledge of STDs; 2) It’s set in an apartment complex of single-occupancy units, a notion that also worked for TV’s “Melrose Place” that year; and 3) It’s about music singles – particularly songs by Seattle bands at a time when hair metal is giving way to grunge, and lyrics are becoming more infused with meaning.
Elizabethtown’s” existence in 2005 ticked me off, since, as a huge “Garden State” fan, I felt it was ripping off that film’s plot of a depressive young man who travels to a small town for his parent’s funeral and is saved by his dream girl. While the plot is indeed the same, Crowe is obviously not ripping off Zach Braff; it’s a coincidence. Still, I wasn’t ready to appreciate “Elizabethtown” then. But I like it quite a lot now that time has passed.
“Roadies” (10 p.m. Eastern Sundays on Showtime), the new series from Cameron Crowe, feels a little more like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” or “Love Monkey” than it feels like “Almost Famous.” The pilot episode has more bark than bite; however, it’s better than, say, Crowe’s second-rate “Garden State” “Elizabethtown,” and the fact that it’s about the same subject as “Almost Famous” might allow him to recapture a bit of that old magic in upcoming episodes.