Posted on 3/11/13 02:49 PM
This 1980 musical-drama from Alan Parker follows a group of teenagers as they put their talents to the test for four grueling years at New York's School for Performing Arts. It takes a lot of hard work and even dealing with disappointments in order to become a true artist, and FAME examines this over the course of 134 minutes while cutting back and forth from eight students dealing with their own issues. The characters are very interesting and well performed by a group of veterans and unknowns, but what ultimately makes FAME are its lively, toe-tapping musical numbers from Michael Gore. One of them is a jamming song-and-dance number in the school's cafeteria, another involves the students dancing in the streets of NY to the pounding rhythms of the title theme (sung with exuberance and zest by Irene Cera), and for the finale, all the students combine their talents for an uplifting ballad. The film is probably a little too long for the impatient and sometimes confusing as it jumps back and forth between characters or doesn't resolve their issues, but all in all, FAME remains a very compelling, enthusiastic delve into the ups and downs of being an artist, balancing academics with ambition, traumatic happenings, and, ultimately, finding success. Parents take note: there are lots of swear words to be heard in FAME, including a frequent use of the F-word as well as two scenes where boys spy on girls changing. This film is probably better suited for high schoolers and grown-ups.