The 2009 edition of Fame is a quasi-remake and updating of the exuberant 1980 movie directed by Alan Parker. The TV series that followed (1982-1987) wasn’t bad either. The remake? Like the original, it’s divided into four years of high school: freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior. Thankfully, director Kevin Tancharoen doesn’t follow these show-business tyros to college. Episodically constructed around a variety of hastily sketched characters, the movie features forgettable musical numbers and lots of faux drama: the young black student (Naturi Naughton) who wants to give up her studies in classical piano to sing hip hop or the aspiring actress (Kay Panabaker) who misreads the intentions of a hunky former student who promises her an audition for a TV show or the young black man (Collins Pennie) who’s angry that his father split and his baby sister was killed. Void of emotional impact, the movie lacks the kind of credible story that might have made me root for these kids and its over-amped enthusiasms never encouraged my heart to skip a beat.
published September 26, 2009