Fame Review


Fame Movie Poster | Photo By www.impawards.com

When a movie is redone, the remake should have some sort of new twist, a unique point of view, or some quality that makes it different then the show. Fame

accomplishes none of these. The bright, colorful font and the hip hop-ified version of the title song in the trailer fooled me into thinking the movie would live up to its classic predecessor.

The movie begins with a scene of the audition process for The New York City High School for the Performing Arts, based off of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. It is the standard audition montage seen over and over again, making comedy out of the students with no talent in order to contrast the few stars that are actually accepted to the school. This montage is too American Idol meets High School Musical to be taken seriously.

The movie then follows a few talented students in their journey through high school as they struggle to find themselves as well as careers in their chosen arts.

Starring in the movie, Jenny (Kay Panabaker), an uptight singer/actress who cannot seem to open-up enough to understand her characters. It is hard to judge whether Panabaker was playing a bad actress or actually is one.

Malik (Collins Pennie), is the stereotypical kid from the inner city, who strives to become a rapper. The writers were not creative with this character, although his strong acting shined through in a monologue about watching his younger sister get shot.

The story also tracks Victor (Walter Perez) a hopeful music producer, Denise (Naturi Naughton) who trains as a classical pianist but secretly wants to sing, Marco (Asher Book) a singer, Joy (Ana Maria Perez de Tagle) an aspiring actress, Alice (Kherington Payne) a modern dancer, Kevin (Paul McGill) whose mom sends him all the way from Iowa to be a ballet dancer, and Neil (Paul Iacono) who dreams of becoming a filmmaker. Ultimately, there are too many characters to develop in 107 minutes of screen time. It focused too much on Jenny and not enough substance was given to the others, which would have made them more relatable and believable.

The movie also supports some negative messages. When Kevin is told he will not make it as a dancer, he gives up and tries to take his own life. In the original, when the dancer is told she does not have “it,” she says, “F*** it, I’ll join the drama department,” leaving the audience with the more encouraging message that one opinion should not determine success.

Although this movie is pretty bleak, there is bright side. The musical numbers were entertaining and the talent of the young singers was impressive. The most enjoyable, lively part of the movie was a scene at a nightclub where Denise and Malik perform “Get Off the Floor,” a song written just for the soundtrack. The combination of Naughton and Pennie together was charismatic and dance-worthy. This hip-hop song is current and gives a hint of the charm the original movie had.

All the hype surrounding Fame really was not deserved. This movie is clichéd and tired. There are so many movies that have come out about the lives of talented youth (Centerstage, Step Up, Raise Your Voice) that the whole concept is played out. Fame should have been left alone; there was no need to remake it. Especially since the remake is a definite downgrade.