‘Fame’ fails to measure up

Tom Andrew

In 1980 the original film of FAME came to the big screen. Since then, it has made a pop star out of Irene Cara, made Debbie Allen a household name, spawned a stage musical and national tour, and the title song is probably one of the best known songs ever recorded.

Fast forward to 2009, where someone got the bright idea to remake the film, which they just should not have done.

FAME is the story of the students at The High School of the Performing Arts in NYC, one of the most prestigious and difficult arts schools to get in. The film follows 6 or so students from their main audition to their first day of class as freshman, to their graduation four years later. During those 4 years we follow these students through classes, friendships, relationships, music, singing, dancing and acting. The hope is that we, as an audience, will see, hear and feel the joy, pain, angst and elation of these students as they reach for their dreams. We do not.

The remake pales by comparison in acting, dancing, story and music. It is impossible to NOT compare the two films. If the producers had stayed away from using songs and some storylines from the original, then a comparison wouldn’t be necessary, but stay away they did not. The song “Out Here On my Own” was used and some key plotlines were lifted from the original and used in the remake, and without much success.

Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles S. Dutton and Megan Mullally are now the new teachers at The Hugh School Of The Performing Arts, and honestly, they should have just stayed home. Their scenes and characters don’t add, or develop, the way the teachers in the first film did. They come off as amateurish, unpolished and forced.

The students, all newcomers like in the first film, are an ok bunch, but no one stands out and none of their characters develop enough for us to care about them.

Do yourselves a favor; either rent the movie from netfilx.com, or if you really MUST see the new movie, see it at a reduced price. Don’t pay full price for it. It will be bad enough that you will have lost the hour and forty-five minutes of your life.
FAME gets 0 out of 10 stars. Rent the original.