banner image

:: Fame

This musical is a reinterpretation of the 1980 award-winning film of the same title that spawned a TV show and a stage musical. The story still takes place over four years at a New York high school for the performing arts, but the new movie has different characters and, with the exception of Debbie Allen, different actors. The emphasis is on polished dancing and singing, and the tone is similar to High School Musical. A highlight is young Naturi Naughton doing “Out Here on My Own.” Teachers are played by Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally and Charles S. Dutton.

It's an upbeat remake as seen through the eyes of a group of wanna-be stars who find that the pursuit of big dreams brings with it a host of problems both personal and professional. The new version of Fame has been tweaked to suit a fresher audience. Instead of 80s style music and dance, we are presented with hip-hop, rap and modern dance. However, other than changing musical styles, there is very little to be added to the original Fame.

The dance and musical numbers are very good, and the cast is certainly talented. There is a particularly breathtaking performance by Will & Grace's Meagan Mullally - which is as surprising as it is brilliant.

The characters have been changed a little: some have switched gender, others have switched race. It seems like this is just change for change's sake, rather than being part of any artistic license. The film is even shot in a very similar fashion; we are made to feel up-close-and-personal with the students in their very crammed corridors and classrooms. Although the film brings nothing new to the table, it still makes for an enjoyable two hours.

The extra features on the DVD include a music video and a featurette titled “The Dances of Fame”.

DVD Extras

Music Video
The Dances of Fame - featurette