Fame (2009) Review

Remember . . . Remember my name !!!

But other than the three actor’s I already knew before going into this film, those being Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth . . . I don’t think I will remember there names. Don’t get me wrong that may seem a strange starting with the review in a negative manner when I did still quite enjoy the film. It was far from perfect and had flaws, but a new generation and obviously more modern version.

Fame is based at the performing arts school in New York City. It begins with auditions and by this you can tell which are the character’s that are going to be in main focus throughout the film. Also some amusing auditions especially the “all that jazz” guy was just hilarious (especially with my love for “Chicago”). But then after auditions, it jumps to freshman year, then not too long after sophomore, junior and senior years. Each year kind of goes a little bit into one of the students lives and the struggles they are facing, although I don’t think enough character development was done throughout the film. Each of the main character’s were only focused on a little bit not enough insight into why they were there, what happened and what they really wanted to achieve after leaving the school.

A plus side had to be some of the singing from the actors, as they were really good singers.I thought the dance routine’s were very good as well, although the randomness of the “black and gold” sequence seemed as though something had been cut as it did not really fit together with the scene also going on at that point. I think the character storylines were all good idea’s and varied a little from the original but there was not enough background work put into them. Like it left you want to knowing more as it raced through the 4 years, probably not the best to suggest this but it might have been better to have the film in at least two parts so they could build up the characters so you actually cared about them and wanted them to succeed and do well.

I really enjoyed Megan Mullally aka Karen from Will and Grace, as the singing teacher I thought she was just brilliant showing the range of her acting (and her excellent singing voice which has graced Broadway a few times). I think the performance in the hip-hop club had to be my favorite scene as it was really modern and today, the type of music that is so popular at the moment.

Naturi Naughton has a fantastic voice and I checked her out on IMDb to see if I had seen her in anything else and found she was Lil Kim in “Notorious”. So I think it will be interesting to see if she sticks to acting or chooses to go more towards a music career.

I was very impressed with Charles S. Dutton, I thought he was just great as the drama teaching. Trying to help them realise that they have to be true to themselves in order to make it in the world of theatre.

I think what I enjoyed most about this film, was seeing more behind the scenes and what goes into performing arts. All aspects of it music, dance, acting, singing, playing instruments, filming and making music. I love going to the theatre to see a musical or play, going to see a concert and enjoying the music, acting and dancing. So watching the way in which you can progress towards all of these things really does entertain me.

So while I did enjoy this film, it was not the best. It really could have been great but the character developement side really did let it down. But it is still enjoyable nonetheless. I am curious to how everyone else finds it. I tried not to compare it to the original as it really should be looked at in its own right.

3 thoughts on “Fame (2009) Review

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more!

    I felt like they really didn’t know what to do with Grammer and Dutton, but quite liked Neuwirth’s moment of telling the senior that he didn’t have what it took. I kinda wish there were a few more moments like that, since days at a school like this can feel like wall-to-wall critique.

    Glad you dug it, but I’ll stick with the original. Not sure if you read it yet or not, but here’s what I thought.

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  2. This film wasn’t high on my list of priorities to see, that’s why I have only just gotten around to it when I have seen everything else that’s out. As I am not a fan of musicals I often find it annoying when people break into song in the middle of a scene. It worked well in this the way the songs where integrated into the story and the characters where actually singing them in character as the character would. The big problem was it was all really rushed. It actually felt like they had taken a TV series and taken random scenes and edited them together. That’s the major problem. As you say they rush through four years very quickly. This allows no time for character development. We actually see no story arc for the characters. This becomes really evident at the end when one character describes another as her best friend leaving me trying to think have we actually seen these two people talking to each other prior to this. I also agree the stand out performances came from the people playing the teachers particularly Megan Mullally.

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  3. Yes Megan Mullally was fantastic, it was funny when I went to see it as a friend turned to me and said that looks like Karen from “Will and Grace” to which I responded thats because it is. She did not realise that Megan had performed on Broadway quite a lot. But I think when she got up and sang was my favorite part of this movie.

    I think instead of kinda re-working the original movie, they should have just gone all out and actually made a film of the musical stage show. I think it just would have worked so much better that way. But yes I am a musical geek.

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