Pursuing Your Dreams
Release Date: September 25, 2009
Starring: Naturi Naughton, Collins
Penne, Kay Panabaker, Asher
Book, Kherington Payne, Walter
Perez, Anna Maria Perez De
Tagle, Paul Iacono, Kristy
Flores, Paul McGill, Debbie
Allen, Charles S. Dutton,
Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mulally,
and Bebe Neuwirth
Genre: Musical Drama
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 103 minutes
Distributor: United Artists/MGM
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Mark Canton, Gary Lucchesi,
Tom Rosenberg, and Richard
Writer: Allison Burnett and
Address Comments To:Harry E. Sloan, Chairman/CEO
Clark Woods, President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution
MGM Studios Inc. (United Artists)
(Partially owned by Sony Corporation of America)
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 900067
Phone: (310) 449-3000; Fax: (310) 449-8819
Denise, a talented classical pianist who also happens to have an amazing voice, struggles with whether she should please her parents by sticking to piano or pursuing her passion for singing. Malik, a kid from the street, struggles with his anger over painful experiences from his past and must decide whether he will let this hurt him or help him to achieve his goals. Jenny, an aspiring actress, faces her own insecurities and lack of confidence as many other talented individuals surround her. Kevin, a struggling ballet dancer who has to work twice as hard just to keep up with everyone else, faces the dilemma of what he will do with his life if he doesn’t make it after graduation.
FAME follows these characters and more as they face the constant challenges of honing their skills toward achieving excellence, while at the same time dealing with romance, broken relationships, parental opposition, scam artists, competition, and more.
While the movie contains some breathtaking musical numbers and inspiring dance performances, the production elements are greatly lacking in regards to the inconsistent storyline and poor character development. Rather than follow just two, three or even four characters, the movie attempts to introduce eight characters in the story and follow their lives over the course of their time at the school. Because of this, there is just too much information excluded, ultimately making it difficult for viewers to truly relate or empathize with each character’s plight. Also, it seems that, with so many stories to tell, it became difficult for the screenwriters to figure out how to resolve each storyline, leaving many details unsettled with questions still left to be answered.
FAME, though toned down in content when compared to the 1980 version, still contains some elements requiring caution such as the lying and dishonesty displayed by some students. These issues aren’t always completely resolved. Also, the movie contains some pagan elements including underage alcohol use, light sexual references, a character who contemplates suicide, and negative parental role models. Some positive content includes characters who work hard to achieve their goals while overcoming the challenges, one Christian element with a choir singing the hymn “What a Mighty God We Serve,” and supportive teachers who provide positive reinforcement to the students.
All in all, the FAME remake warrants caution for its negative content, which is pitched at a PG level.
FAME has strong song and dance numbers and some positive moral and redemptive content. Hard work and determination are rewarded, teachers provide positive support to students, and a Christian hymn is sung. Regrettably, the movie lacks a consistent storyline and appropriate character development. It also contains some negative elements. These include underage alcohol use, some foul language and light sexual references, a character who considers suicide, and poor parental role models. This negative content is pitched at a PG level, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for media-wise viewers who might be interested in this remake.