Almost What? Where Have You Gone Kate Hudson?

Recently we caught the last two thirds of Cameron Crowe’s 2000 Almost Famous on HBO (it’s on again tonight at 8 p.m. if anyone is interested). Remember how worked up people used to get about that movie –- and how suddenly no one could get away from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”? And just think, it came out before Vanilla Sky and (shudder) Elizabethtown. But Cameron Crowe’s career trajectory is another story for another time. What really struck us was just how darn good a job Kate Hudson did in Almost Famous. At the time of the film’s release, the only thing people knew about Ms. Hudson was her part in the ensemble movie 200 Cigarettes, where the young actress’s resemblance to her famous mom Goldie Hawn was downright eerie. But as Penny Lane, the enigmatic and heartbreakingly young groupie/band-aid, Ms. Hudson appeared to be a fully-arrived fresh talent, who had the possibility to skyrocket past her famous parents. She got an Academy Award nomination for best actress (she lost to Marcia Gay Harden in Pollock) and won the Golden Globe. But the last eight years, as solidly on the A-list as she might be, has contained some head scratchers: remember The Four Feathers, Le Divorce, or Skeleton Key? We unfortunately do remember suffering through Alex and Emma and Raising Helen. How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days is carried off by Ms. Hudson’s handy girls-want-to-be-friends-with-her-men-want-to-date-her charm, but the magic was lost entirely when she and Mr. McConaughey re-teamed in this year’s Fool’s Gold. Coming up on September 19th, we’re afraid we’re going to be forced to see her in My Best Friend’s Girl co-starring Dane Cook. Can’t someone cast this woman in something where she doesn’t just have to rest on being beautiful and charming? She doesn’t have to go the Charlize Theron Monster route or anything, but couldn’t someone like Noah Baumbach or Michael Winterbottom find something for her to do? But! Here’s some hopeful news: Kate Hudson will join Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench Marion Cotilliard, and -– holy cow –- Sophia Loren in Rob Marshall’s Nine due out next year. Fingers crossed.