Review Catch-Up: “Fame”

November 3, 2009 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Anyone who as ever aspired to be anything could probably relate to Fame.  The movie interweaves stories from various students from the New York Academy of Performing Arts, showing their dreams and hopes, failures and realizations that either they have or don’t have what it takes.

However, just because you can relate to it doesn’t necessarily mean you should see it.  Fame isn’t terrible, and in spots it is quite entertaining; it just doesn’t do anything new to show us the struggles of up-and-coming performers.

There are a few highlights, such as Naturi Naughton’s stunning solo (which makes me wonder why she isn’t turning out #1 singles by now), and a moments of honest emotional growth of certain characters.  I also appreciate how the movie shows you that not everyone will get what they want.  One character realizes he may be shooting to high and settles for a teaching position at another school.  And another, a budding young filmmaker (of the sort I despise…the ‘pretentious indie’ sort) gets hit with a healthy dose of reality (and fraud) when the money he wants to use for a film gets stolen.

While the main cast is decent, the supporting cast of teachers, featuring such notable names as Kelsey Grammar, Charles S. Dutton, and Megan Mullally, is almost wasted.  I happen to think Grammar is a fine actor, and should be given much more to do other than have a scene or two lecturing students.  The only teacher given any real screen time is Megan Mullally, who plays a singing coach.  Her scene singing karaoke is quite nice, even though there was some editing problems (Kelsey Grammar kind of appears out of nowhere, then disappears without mention).

Fame is a decent movie to watch, and probably a good date movie if your significant other is in to these kinds of flicks.  While the film is good-natured, it just feels like it’s holding my hand the entire time, never really understanding that I’m mature enough for something more…mature.  I’m not saying that there needs to be gratuitous sex or all the students need a drug problem or something; I’m saying that the script is way too ‘by the book’ to warrant any repeat viewings.


Is it me, or is Kay Pannabaker a little miscast for her role?  According to her IMDB profile, she should be 19 by now, but looks like she’s 12.  By the end of the movie, she should be at least 17, and looks like a 14-year-old with a bit of make-up on.  I’m not saying this to slight her, and I don’t think she’s a terrible actress, it was just a little distracting to realize that she was supposed to play someone in her mid- to late-teen’s.


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