Singing “Tiny Dancer” in ALMOST FAMOUS

Almost Famous, Tiny Dancer scene

The band sits on their tour bus in discontent, awkwardly not saying anything to one another. Penny Lane, usually airy and mysteriously charming, possesses a straight and solemn face. The fight that this group of musicians just endured causes them to be this way—making me feel uncomfortable and sad, even after the fiftieth time of watching my favorite movie, Almost Famous. Elton John’s tune “Tiny Dancer” plays distantly in the background, recognizable and comforting. One member of the band hums the words under his breath. The sound begins to grow as he starts to sing. Then the tune spreads to the other members of the band, unifying them in the nostalgic moment of a heartfelt sing-a-long. They shed their inhibitions as their voices crack, bringing out the band’s vulnerability in a dog-eat-dog musical world. As their grave expressions fade, I can see everyone on the bus forget their differences and concentrate on the power of music that originally brought them together. As cheesy as it sounds, I want to be there—surrounded by the voices of my best friends, reveling in something we all have in common, and embracing our hilariously constructed and valuable bonds.

—Isabel Gray