Dream It - Earn It - Live It
Running Time: 107 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
Maybe Im remembering my youth with foggy, nostalgia-tinted glasses, but oh how I loved the original Fame. I even had the soundtrack on cassette tape, which I played until it was all worn out on my super cool Walkman. But dang it, I remember there were characters in there with names I can still rememberand a plot well, several of them, really that I actually cared about (Doris? Coco? Where are you?). Why oh why must my childhood be subjected to remakes?
In this reboot, a bunch of young creative types are all strutting their talented stuff at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. Following through all four years of their high school career, these actors, singers, dancers, and musicians do some musical numbers and try and figure out their lives, loves, friendships, and futures. Even the musical numbers aren’t that good, though,
Theres no denying that the kids in this film are talented in their respective disciplinesNaturi Naughton as conflicted singer/pianist Denise is especially good, and offers one of the only real nods to the original, a re-sing of Out Here On My Own, which was a shining moment for Irene Cara back in the day. Talented kids, though, still need a script and a plot to work with, and in a movie whose format divvies up the 90 or so minutes of action (action already cut short by musical numbers, mind you) into four sections, one for each year of high school, there just isnt any type of real story or character development. Then there are the instructorsa talented bunch themselves, boasting the likes of Megan Mullaly, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelsey Grammer, and original Fame mentor Debbie Allenwho all go virtually unused. I mean, yes, the focus is supposed to be the young generation, but these are actors with a myriad of artistic experience whose tiny roles could have been played by just about anyone. Add to all that the fact that there are SO MANY characters, almost none of whom are memorable in any way (except by their stereotype names: Shy Girl, Snotty Dancer Girl, Angry Black Guy, Gay Dancer Guy), and all weve got is a YouTube-ish, shallow bit of boring fluff. Whereas the first Fame had a gritty New York reality to it, this pointless re-do is nothing more than a series of glitzy production numbers that dont even live up to the standard of High School Musical. I dont care what the song says, this Fame is not going to live foreverIm not even sure it should make it to a DVD release.
It's Got: Some talented kids, Bebe Neuwirth dancing, wasted potential
It Needs: Better story and dialogue, some semblance of character development, better music in its musical
Alternatives:Fame (1980), Grease, High School Musical
There’s just no reason to recommend this plot-free, bland, choppy musical that may one day be the most embarrassing listing on some of its cast’s resumes.