Cameron Crowe: Portrait of the director as a young rock critic.

Many people seem to think that films like “Say Anything …” or “Jerry Maguire” are romantic comedies with happy endings. However, if you dig deeper, they seem to be subversive movies about codependency: Jerry Maguire and Dorothy Boyd get together out of loneliness and, at the end of the film, aren't holding hands with each other but rather with the kid while Dylan's “Shelter From the Storm” is playing. In “Say Anything …,” Diane Court comes back to Lloyd Dobler, but only when her father deceives her.

Definitely. And with “Almost Famous,” I just didn't want anybody to end up with anybody that they're expected to end up with. The only love story here is between the sister and the mom, and they don't truly bond properly — and still it ends up being hopeful. After watching this, people have said, “Oh, it's sweet,” and I always feel like if it's so sweet, then why is it based on such pain in my own life?