Fame...The Movie
Author(s): Robin Roth
Photos: Robin Roth
Editor: Mark Lewis
Published: September 30, 2009


Movie Review





Fame is the new and updated version of the original Oscar-winning hit film of the same title. It follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts.


The Performing Arts School is a diverse, artistic, and creative facility where students from all races and backgrounds are given the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and achieve real and lasting “FAME”. The school demands that its students are not only exceptionally talented, but totally dedicated and hard working. The kids are challenged in an extraordinarily competitive atmosphere, where the struggles leave each student with their own self-doubts, and their passion and love for their art is put to the test.


The students played by the multi talented new comers are: Kherington Payne (Alice); Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Joy); Paul McGill (Kevin); Asher Book (Marco); Kristy Flores (Rosie); Naturi Naughton (Denise) Kay Panabaker (Jenny); Paul Iacono (Neil); Collins Pennie (Malik; Walter Perez (Victor); and Johanna Braddy (Katie).


The talented and seasoned stars who play the teachers in the film include: sitcom actors Megan Mullally (Teacher Fran Rowan), (known as Karen from "Will and Grace"); Kelsey Grammar (Teacher Martin Cranston), (known as Frasier Crane on "Cheers" and "Frasier"); Charles S Dutton (Teacher James Dowd) (known for "ROC"); Bebe Neuwirth (Teacher Lynn Kraft), (known as Lillith from "Frasier"); and last but not least the multi talented Debbie Allen (Principal Simms) (who also starred in the original version of "FAME" and the "Crosby Show" spin-off "A Different World").


In addition to the young hopefuls’ artistic goals, these students also have to cope with the everyday challenges that come with being a high school teen. Yah know, excess schoolwork, deep friendships, romance, and self-discovery. As each student strives for their moment to shine, they are confronted with exactly the necessary discipline to succeed. With the love and support of their friends and fellow artists, they find out who will achieve the ultimate "FAME".


Do not be persuaded by those who compare this version to the original "FAME", as there is no way to compare these contemporary classics. After 29 years since the original movie was released, it is time for an updated version, and here it is. This movie will no doubt dazzle you from beginning to end. Enjoy the winning combination of a story that includes talent, high school drama, and teachers who truly care to help their students become a success. The lesson learned here is that hard work, perseverance, and the passion for being the best at what you love to do might just bring you "FAME”



The Blonde: Loved this film! How exciting and thrilling it was to be a part of a story that was so enticing. The film had a way of making its audience feel as if they were in the center of the tale. Hey Brunette, didn’t all those fresh young faces with extraordinary talent make you feel a bit envious? I mean, I was ok, but I was concerned about you! Ya' know, your age and all!


The Brunette: Oh please, are you serious Blondie? Don’t make me tell… And need I remind you who left the nightclub early the other night. Moving right along… I felt the music was exciting in the new “FAME”.  Not only did they recreate 2 of its original songs, but the rest of the score was fresh and new.


The Blonde: I agree. I am so happy though that they didn’t cut out “On My Own” and “FAME”. This film had some real seriously talented kids. Kherington Payne who played Alice is an amazing dancer. Her ballet technique was dead on. Asher Books voice who plays Marco took my breath away. His looks also took my breath away. What a hottie!  In my opinion, acting, singing, and dancing skills have come along way since the 80’s. Speaking of the 80’s, Brunette what was up with those gigantic shoulder pads you were wearing in your shirt that night. SIMPLY DREADFUL…MEOW, MEOW, MEOW!


The Brunette:  AHUH? What is your excuse for your Cindy Lauper hair style?


The Blonde: Oh my, my, my, how jealous can we get? My hair is soooo 2010!


The Brunette: Is that what you call that? Getting back to reality and the film… I loved the scenes where the students did their spontaneous dancing and singing. There was so much talent testosterone flying around.


The Blonde: Well, honey for sure with the hunky guys in this film, there was definitely testosterone flying. Don’t know if that had anything at all to do with talent…


The Brunette; I think your raging hormones are showing.


The Blonde: Well, at least I have some left! Moving right along….

The choreography was incredible in the new “FAME”. It had me at all times at the edge of my seat. The storyline as well was alluring. I really had a great time watching this film. I was actually afraid when I heard they were remaking it. Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone. I was pleasantly surprised that they kept it real and made it a great film as well.


The Brunette:  I agree! Wasn’t it awesome to see Debbie Allen back on the big “FAME” screen again?  I so admire her and her talents.


The Blonde: What I did find unique about Debbie was that she did not do any of the choreography for the new “FAME” unlike the original. She just portrayed the school principal instead. I wonder why? Just sayin’? Did I say how adorable Asher was?


The Brunette: Yes Blonde…. Yes you did.


The Blonde: All in all, I would say this is a must see film for all ages. From the talent, to the entertainment, to the story, to Asher, I give this film a solid B and Asher an A+ for his looks alone, not to mention his other talents?


The Brunette: Ditto! It has all, from the drama, to the music and acting to the story itself. Don’t’ miss this up to date version of “FAME”. I rate it an A-.