If you enjoyed the gritty musical in 1980 that ran for 5 years on television and garnered several Academy Awards, you may be interested in the remake of the musical drama, Fame! This story begins with teenagers from all walks of life interviewing to attend the New York High School of Performing Arts. When the freshman year begins, Principal Angela Simms (Debbie Allen) gives an inspirational speech about how students can achieve fame only by perseverance talent, and devotion. (Okay the speech isn’t that inspirational but it is Debbie Allen.) The most interesting story line has Denise (Naturi Naughton) attending the school under the pressure of her parents to play classical piano, but her heart is in singing. With the help of voice teacher Miss Fran Rowan (Megan Mullally) and music teacher Mr. Martin Cranston (Kelsey Grammer) Denise decides to go with her feelings and sing. (I guess she can just forget about all of those expensive piano lessons paid for by her parents) In other story lines, we see a nerdy guy with a camera wanting to make movies, a gay ballet dancer who is constantly criticized by his teachers and a young shy girl who entered school to be an actress who really wants to be a singer. (If you’re shy should you be acting?) These teenagers and others receive help and advice from drama teacher Mr. James Dowd (Charles S. Dutton) and dance teacher Ms. Krant (Bebe Neuwirth) along with other staff members who guide them in achieving their goals during their four years at the high school. This film has virtually no character development because it covers 8 or 10 students over a 4 year period in 90 minutes. There are so many clichés and cheesy moments with lines like, “I just want my parents to be proud of me.” (Barf) Most of the stories are forgettable and dull except the one involving Denise and I know the song says “Baby remember my name” but somehow I just don’t feel like it. Now, the music is fantastic and the dance numbers are pretty good from what I heard (I couldn’t hear the tapping) and I can easily see this being popular to thousands of 13 year old girls. Fame! is, well, lame. The music is the only thing keeping it from slipping below a C+ rating.
This movie has been given a PG rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.