Fame (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

Main actors: Naturi Naughton, Kay Panabaker, Collin Pennie, Asher Book, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullaly, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles S. Dutton, Debbie Allen. Director: Kevin Tacharoen.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This remake of the popular 1980 Fame features a diverse group of teenagers accepted into the New York Academy of Performing Arts. From their audition through four years of intense training in the arts, special bonds of friendship are formed. This is more of a docudrama that concentrates on the pressures, discipline and really hard work required of the students rather than on the glamour of show business.

Many extravagant musical numbers showcase the talents of singers, musicians, and dancers. One of the most talented is Denise (Naturi Naughton), whose classical piano audition easily wins her a place in the new class. Much to her family’s consternation, however, is her dream of becoming a pop singer. Of course, there’s a bit of a love story between serious Jenny (Kay Panabaker) and easy-going Marco (Asher Book).

The faculty, played by Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth (both from TV’s Frasier), Megan Mullaly, Charles S. Dutton and Debbie Allen, are both critical and supportive of their students.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The teenage students learn a few lessons the hard way. As graduation approaches, some are offered opportunities they can’t resist and drop out of school. That creates a sense of competition among the others, which sometimes leads to poor judgment. Jenny is offered an audition for a film, and finds herself on a “casting couch” after being warned by Marco. Two naive, aspiring script writers learn the hard way about unscrupulous businessmen preying on the inexperienced.

While there is no sex or nudity and only the attempted seduction of Jenny, there is an implied sexual relationship between Jenny and Marco when she invites him to her father’s vacant Manhattan apartment. One of the students, Joy (Anna Maria Perez de Tagle) agrees to being videoed while she becomes drunk for the first time by drinking hard liquor from a bottle.

Fame, the students learn, has nothing to do with your name in bright lights. It is about knowing yourself and using everything you have to grow through hard work and sacrifice.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Some lyrics in musical numbers include some crude language

Obscene Language: A few s-words

Profanity: Few times, including one very strong profanity

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Young man attempts seduction of naive student

Drugs: Under age drinking in clubs; teenage girl drinks liquor from bottle while friends video her as a school project

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers

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