Fame

2009-09-28 11:09
 
Fame

What it's about:

A reinvention of the original Oscar®-winning hit film, Fame follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting fame - the kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work.

What we thought:

This is a slickly made nostalgic lighting that may remind you of Alan Parker’s original, but with more pretty kids in tights. Serious coming-of-age themes and a bit of swearing to lend it an advantage over most of the sanitised drivel hitting screens in time for the school holidays. The cast aren’t well known. Neither is the writer, the director, or anyone else involved (well not in Hollywood terms, anyhow). Casting mid-level stars helps give the characters equal weighting, as it did for the original.

But although the music is hipper (think a male-female battle of the MCs in the canteen, instead of an 80s pop jam) and the social politics are updated, Fame as it is remade 19 years later lacks the freshness, the bravery and the emotional intensity of the original. The excruciating opening scenes of auditions, in which you helplessly bonded with key characters, are shorter. The weird-looking main role actors are gone, replaced by pretty kids. The detailed work by featured extras in the background of scenes, and the strange sex appeal of those truly awful 80s leg warmers is also missing.

It’s like the whole class took a gap year and went to finishing school, the orthodontist, and the plastic surgeon before they even enrolled.

In Fame 2009, battles over sexual identity and drugs (which were ahead of their time back in the 80s) aren’t really that big. The ugly duckling is far too hot to be believable. The dangling storylines that make the original so fascinating and life-like (and such a tempting basis for a TV series, I guess) are more neatly resolved. It’s just less complex, less finely observed and more focused.

So, this remake is good fun and definitely worth an afternoon at the movies, but it’s not so much more than a guilty pleasure (made more intense by dancer Kherington Payne’s fascinating hotness).

Check out our Classic Movie review of the 1980 version.


If you’ve seen Fame (1980), you will probably spend most of this movie comparing it to the original. And it holds up a lot better than expected.

Kim Latimer 2009/09/25 8:46 AM
I agree, this version pales in comparison with the original. Was actually dissapointed.
Pangea 2009/09/25 11:38 AM
I doubt it will live up to the original. The orginal was gritty, true and realistic.
preshen govender 2009/09/25 12:52 PM
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i think it will be better then the original the chick are twice as hotter and $ex scene much better.
Jess 2009/09/25 5:37 PM
19 years later? Hmmm, think it's 29 years later! 1980 to 2009. Don't think it can compare to original.
Sassy 2009/09/26 10:03 AM
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Just stop comparing for once, pretend it is the first time that you'll seeing FAME, obviously it wont be the sane as the original (^_^) Ta.
Amy 2009/09/28 11:44 AM
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Was not worth spending the money on the movie ticket. Thought is was terrible. Utterly dissapointed.
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