Remake trades grit, sincerity for PG rating
In 1980, Fame was a gritty look at the lives of seven students who attended the New York High School of Performing Arts.’
The 2009 remake takes away the grit and tones down the language, along with some of the sexual and drug content. The movie is reworked into a soap opera stylized, by teen drama and set to modern r&b, hip-hop and rap music.
The film follows the students from their auditions to their graduation. Viewers watch them struggle, but the remake fails to show the gritty emotional duress of the original.
One bright spot in Fame is the music. The soundtrack has been given a modern face-lift, but it includes some of the songs that made the original 1980 soundtrack a hit, such as ‘Fame,’ and ‘Out Here On My Own.’
Fame‘s cast has a long way to go when it comes to portraying struggling teenagers convincingly. Many of the actors seem as though they had been recruited from a daytime soap opera set.
Overall, Fame starts out as a promising remake, but it runs long and gets weighed down with overdramatic teen angst. This version also suffers due to a sacrifice of raw emotion for a family-friendly PG rating.’
Friendly advice: rent the original before seeing the new version. While the new Fame not worthy of an Oscar, it is still worth seeing for the musical performances alone.’