'Fame' remake breaks a leg
October 1, 2009
This week Falcons, we pretty much had it all—singing, dancing, friendship, heartbreak, loss, emotional outbursts, teenridden angst and near sudden death. I know, right? Katie, what does this mean? What could you have possibly seen that carried such humanism, such down to earth emotional material?! Well friends, I’ll tell you. While it’s something many of us would love to have, it appears only those living around or in Manhattan can really attain it. That’s right, I’m speaking of none other than fame.
Based on the original movie, “Fame” is the story of nine east coasters looking to strike it big in the entertainment world by attending the prestigious Performing Arts Prep Academy. Starting as freshman, we follow the ethnically eclectic cast through all four years of school, each attempting to follow their own dreams of either singing, dancing, producing, directing or acting. While our teen protagonists are mostly played by a group of first timers, our teaching crew stars some oldies, including Bebe Neuwirth, Kelsey Grammar from “Frasier,” and “Will and Grace” star Megan Mullally.
Sadly though, even some old faces and a cast of new hopefuls can’t quite bring this feature together. Yes, I will gladly admit that the music was hot, the dancing sexy, and the singing beautiful, but let me ask you, where does all that lead to with no storyline? Weak and unorganized, the idea behind this screenplay obviously came at three in the morning after one too many at the karaoke bar earlier that night. Hardly any of the cast is developed enough to bring about empathy, and the messages that both teacher and student send are pretty much that if you can land a job on Sesame Street before you graduate, it’s OK to drop out. While I give the writer props for even attempting to create a nutshell of “Step Up,” “Rent,” and “Center Stage,” I would also have to wag my finger for trying to do so. Successes are successes-so leave them be.
Still, not all was lost. As I said before, the dance numbers were plentiful, the singing lovely, and I give props to whoever decided that the slow motion, Matrix-esque format would be good for a song and dance film. While none of the characters really stuck out as truly relatable, what can definitely be seen as accurate is the melodrama that takes up these students’ lives. Wow, were we really like that in high school? Needless to say, I called my mother to apologize, just in case.
So, my friends, there you have it. If the dancer/singer in you just has to let loose for a couple of hours, then go ahead and buy the ticket, but know this: as far as character reciprocation goes, you won’t get much. While it may look like this movie will emulate the positives of all the creative arts films past, tragically it does not. Instead of a pirouette into stardom we have a de crescendo into the same old, same old. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a meager two stars for this reviewer, and I think were going to have to skip out on that letter of recommendation too. Trust me Julliard, this is one film that should not be required viewing.
Katie Heaton is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.