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Fame (2009)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  25 September 2009 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 13,029 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 78 user | 131 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

An updated version of the 1980 musical, which centered on the students of the New York Academy of Performing Arts.

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Title: Fame (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marco (as Asher Book)
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Kristy Flores ...
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Joy
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Storyline

The four years in the lives of some students in one class, from their entrance audition to their graduation, at New York City's High School for the Performing Arts (P.A.) is presented. Upon their entrance, the disparate group have a few things in common: they've got "big dreams" and they "want fame". Some have natural talent, some have had to obtain talent through hard work and training, and some show only some promise which the teachers hope will materialize into true talent. Some have full support from their parents, some have support from their parents but only for the parents' specific dreams, and some have little or no parental support whatsoever. Some have formal training, some not. Some are confident of what they can do, some believe they are limited and are at school to expand those talents, while others have no confidence whatsoever. And some are clear about where they want to "be" after graduation, while some want to explore whatever other opportunities may arise for them ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I'm Gonna Make It to Heaven See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fama  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,408,242 (UK) (25 September 2009)

Gross:

$22,452,209 (USA) (4 December 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bebe Neuwirth (Ms. Kraft) and Kelsey Grammer (Mr. Cranston) starred in the television shows Cheers (1982) and Frasier (1993) as a married couple. See more »

Goofs

When Marco is playing the piano at his parent's restaurant, the song he is playing is filled with sustained chords and legato melodies; which would require the foot pedal to be used quite often in order to achieve the sound that is heard. However, when the camera pans back to show underneath the piano, the pedal is not moving. See more »

Quotes

Mr. James Dowd: Everything you're ashamed of, all the parts of yourself that you keep secret, everything you want to change about yourself - it's who you are. That's your power. Deny it and you're nothing.
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I Put a Spell on You
Written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Jay Hawkins)
Performed by Raney Shockne featuring Eddie Wakes
Produced by Raney Shockne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Go in expecting a collection of enthralling dance numbers and you will be walking out a satisfied customer
30 September 2009 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Kevin Tancharoen's rambunctious first feature film (after directing a series of music TV shows like "The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll") isn't as mawkish or amateur as you may expect. He may not have Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg looking over their shoulders, but Tancharoen clearly knows how to shoot a dance sequence. Thankfully he understands what the audience want from a movie like this and it isn't lengthy conversations or scenes to showcase the young stars' acting chops, we want exceptional dancing mixed with an ear-pleasing soundtrack. From that standpoint this first-timer delivers.

We meet the characters during the introduction as they audition for a spot in the highly sought-after academy, each one of them showing their obvious skills over a well crafted montage that establishes the tone for the rest of the movie. From there we go from one rhythmic set piece to another, of varying enjoyment levels, with the absolute highlight coming from a Halloween party boogie at the halfway point. The gigantic finale goes for broke however doesn't quite reach the heights it should. Also worth noting is Tancharoen's ability to ensure non-dance enthusiasts (like myself) will be entertained no matter what art form is on display; those who think they could never take pleasure in ballet just try and not be entranced with the routine led by the lithe Kherington Payne in the second half.

Every film needs a plot and character arcs mind you and this is where Fame's failings become quite evident. The massive ensemble cast is simply too big; trying to follow the amount of individuals on offer is often frustrating. When you start to like someone they disappear for 30 minutes whilst we see the other dozen or so stories unfold, and only randomly do they intersect each other. Of the young cast Kay Panabaker, Asher Brook and Paul Iacono are the pick whilst the wise and wonderful teachers are best served by Bebe Neuwirth and Charles S. Dutton.

So how much is the final result affected by the hit-and-miss acting (the romantic scenes between the teens are excruciating), unfocused screenplay and ridiculous reasons to break out in song and dance? Not all that much to be honest. A film that can be this fun to watch doesn't deserve to be hung up on faulting elements such as these. Go in expecting a collection of enthralling dance numbers and you will be walking out a satisfied customer.

3.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)


21 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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