What happened to that girl I used to love — the dazzling Penny Lane, or rather, the actress who played her. Way back in 2000, Kate Hudson was my new favorite actress thanks to her role as a "band-aide" in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical ode to rock-n-roll (and one of my all-time personal faves) Almost Famous. Ms. Hudson was absolutely captivating as the naive and vulnerable adolescent hiding behind a free-spirited, rock-chick bravado.
So what happened to the budding actress I saw and loved? Why has Kate Hudson's career been on a downslide? So far, despite plenty of attempts, Almost Famous is the pinnacle of her acting accomplishments, and after a string of movies like My Best Friend’s Girl, my gal Kate has lost her special place in my heart. I am, however, willing to forgive and forget, so I’ve put together this quick list of five ways the bubbly blonde could earn back my love and trust:
1. Lay Off the RomComs: Most of her films since Famous have been Romantic Comedies or some variation of that genre. None are particularly good; most are cliché-ridden duds. Perhaps she ought to experiment with different roles before she gets pigeonholed a la Meg Ryan. Mix it up!! Take some risks! And for the love of God, never, ever do another movie with Dane Cook.
2. No More Matthew: While we’re on the subject of costars to avoid, let’s talk Matthew McConaughey. I like the shirtless wonder just as much as the next girl -– I’ll even admit that How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days has its (minor) charms — but my affection quickly soured after the mess that was Fool’s Gold. In fact, MM’s track record as a romantic lead is, to put it kindly, crap (um, Failure to Launch or The Wedding Planner anyone?). In fact, it’s probably best that all actresses heed this advice.
3. Reunite With Cameron Crowe: Or any other established director who is not Garry Marshall (Raising Helen) or Rob Reiner (Alex & Emma). Crowe has a knack for creating fully realized, authentic characters such as, for example, William Miller and Penny Lane in Almost Famous. And if romcoms are a must, he’s pretty good with those too…I can forgive slight missteps Elizabethtown and Vanilla Sky. The filmmaker showcased Kate at her finest, and I’d like to see if he can coax it out of her again.
4. Take a Cue From Kate and Cate: While Winslet and Blanchett are most certainly in a league of their own, Kate H. could learn a few things from her savvy peers. Both women balance heavier prestige pics (Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button) with lighter stuff (The Holiday, Indiana Jones),but more significantly, both look for films with richly drawn female roles — and this is what Hudson should emulate. The two Oscar nominated actresses take roles in which women are portrayed as the complex creatures we actually are, and Kate Hudson's career would greatly improve if she followed their example.
5. More Supporting Roles: Sandra Bullock did it in Crash; Marisa Tomei did it in The Wrestler. Something similar to the Amy Adams role in Doubt would give Hudson some breathing space to showcase her chops and an opportunity to share the screen with a more sophisticated crowd without forcing her to shoulder all the responsibility for the movie’s success. After all, she certainly wasn’t the star of Almost Famous, but that didn’t stop her from stealing the show.