A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »
At the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, students get specialized training that often leads to success as actors, singers, etc. This movie follows four students from the time when they audition to get into the school, through graduation. They are the brazen Coco Hernandez, shy Doris Finsecker, sensitive gay Montgomery MacNeil, and brash, abrasive Raul Garcia. Written by
Albert Hague was an actual teacher at Fiorello LaGuardia High School when he was hired almost on a whim by the producers to play Benjamin Shorofsky, a role that resurrected his acting career. See more »
When Coco gets out of the taxi and pretends to go into the hotel, the pavement goes from dry, to completely wet. See more »
It builds up--and then insults--its own characters
"Fame", about teenage kids in Manhattan's School for the Performing Arts, looks right, feels right, and it sometimes sounds right--but too soon the film becomes a muddled soap opera about talented children reaching too far for their stars. The large cast does good work, and director Alan Parker has alert eyes, but sharper editing might have left some of Parker's pretensions out of the mix. After one student admits to being homosexual (not just once, to a girl student, but twice, to his entire class and teacher), he is seen in tight close-up putting on lipstick; this is done for a sniggering effect, which is stupefying once you realize the ENTIRE CLASS is dolled-up to look like characters from "Rocky Horror". The gay kid, bullied by the class loudmouth, isn't the only one we see humiliated. This manufactured slapping-down is then used several more times, against the promising disco queen, the wealthy white ballerina, the talkative dancer, the stand-up comedian, and the illiterate who may not graduate because of his failing grades. It's a big, smelly cart full of aged clichés. If people respond, it's due to the cinematography (which captures some of New York's squalor and dusty classrooms with a bracing realism), the propulsive soundtrack, and the cynical-funny talk. The characters are quite a different matter; probably resembling no real student at the actual school, they are plot-mechanisms, their pitfalls punctuated by a director who can almost be heard saying, "Look! See!" ** from ****
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