Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fame: Movie Review

Fame: Movie Review

Rating: 4/10
Cast: Asher Book, Paul McGill, Naturi Naughton, Paul Iacono, Debbie Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton, Kay Panabaker, Walter Perez, Megan Mullally, Anna Maria Perez de Taglé
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Fame costs - and right here, is apparently where you start paying.
When asking around the office about Fame memories, there were common themes - whether it's the legwarmers or Leroy, everyone's got an opinion on this iconic film and TV series.
So you'd have to wonder how massive a challenge it would be to rewrite the film and update it for a more savvy audience in 2009.
The latest version features a cast of relative unknowns as the wannabes who are put up against the acting talents that are Charles S Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth and Megan Mullally (who all play teachers in this.)
The film begins with a smattering of auditions as the Performing Arts school gets ready for a new year - and a new batch of would be famous people.
Thereafter, it's broken up into the four years (from freshman year, sophomore, junior and senior year) the cast are at the school for - and their various trials and tribulations in the run up to graduation.
Let's lay this on the line here - as you can tell from the summary, there are no main or major characters - and it's difficult to describe Fame as an ensemble cast.
Concentrating on the positive for a moment - the whole film is brilliantly choreographed and has a tremendous energy during the scenes of dancing and singing - every one of those involved in those respective scenes gives 110%.
But therein lies the major problem for Fame - it's too unfocussed.
There are around 10 "leads" whose lives are followed over a four year period during the film's 100 minute duration - as any basic mathematician will tell you that doesn't leave much time for either character development, consistent plot or time to get to love those who faces the obstacles.
And here's another problem - the obstacles that these kids face are unfortunately so predictable and stereotyped you can see them coming a mile off.
Every talent cliche is there - the classical pianist who's a genius but who just wants to cut loose and sing - against the wishes of her father; the naïve young actress who doesn't believe the sleazeball will hit on her; the jealous boyfriend; the rapper who's father left; the actress who can't trust her instincts and cut loose because of self doubt&
It's just so disappointing to see as it the predictability of the situations can be seen a mile off - and I know films are supposed to be escapism and not set in any kind of reality, but how can you put characters into these situations when everyone has seen these kind of dilemmas before?
The young cast give it their all in each heavily choreographed set piece after set piece - but when it comes to dialogue, unfortunately they're acted off the screen by the old guard of Grammer, Neuwirth, Mullally and Dutton.

You can't fault the energy of Fame - it's just a shame none of the major songs are as memorable as Irene Cara's original theme and the whole production doesn't fly.

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