The latest trend in Hollywood seems to be taking good movies and remaking them so that they’re really bad. “Fame,” directed by choreographer Kevin Tancharoen, is the latest example of this ever-growing fad.
“Fame” is about a group of students at a performing arts high school in New York City as they pursue their dreams of stardom. While this film borrowed scenes, dialog and Debbie Allen from the 1980 original, it failed to capture its spirit and grittiness. The new class has the same shiny veneer as the “High School Musical” crowd, but without the likeability.
The new cast, featuring Kay Panabaker and Asher Book, is uninteresting. The lives of these students are boring and have no sense of drama that would make you root for them. You don’t care what happens to them or their careers, in fact, you kind of hope they fail. For example, there is one student (I don’t remember her name, but it’s not important) whose parents think she is training to be a classical pianist while she is secretly performing as a hip hop artist. When her father finds out, he is mighty upset but then (spoiler alert), five seconds later, sees her passion for hip hop and everything turns out fine.
There are three positive things about this film: Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammer, and Bebe Neuwirth as the teachers. They have a combined screen time of roughly ten-minuets and they are the best ten-minutes of the movie. Why couldn’t it have been about them? These are the characters you care about; they’re the ones that you want to know more about. Maybe it’s because they’re trying to act in a real movie, not the 2-hour music video that “Fame” ends up being.
“Fame” (1980) had captivating storylines, character development and, most importantly, heart. “Fame” (2009) has none of these things. I’m just left wondering why Hollywood insists on ruining good movies when it could be remaking the bad ones? Why not try improving on an idea and not just creating a poor carbon copy? Next time, why not remake “Battlefield Earth,” or “Dude, Where’s my Car?” perhaps. Dude. Sweet.