Friday, November 10, 2006

[1980] FAME: It's overstuffed and relentlessly shallow, which kind of makes sense as an approach for a movie about students in a performing arts high school. But that approach is the whole movie--it's all style and exuberance without saying anything particularly interesting about its characters. And they're not even characters--they're just sort of types, the overconfident type and the mousy girl and the misunderstood genius and the repressed gay guy and the hood who wants to dance and on and on. The musical numbers were fun (especially the finale) but in between there's just way too much schlock.

EDIT: But I did enjoy the opening montage of auditions--Parker somehow did them where you didn't feel too bad for any of the kids who didn't get in; there's none of that American Idol-style contempt for the failures. Even some of the kids who apparently blew their interviews (from the way Parker was portraying them) got into the school, so I guess he was trying to say something about the luck factor of success. And it's refreshing to see movie musical numbers that are as far away from Busby Berkley as possible (no choreography, or choreography that's supposed to look relatively spontaneous, no overhead shots or chorus lines or people dancing in unison.) It's still too long and doesn't have enough going on between the ears, though. And when you're doing a cult movie, is it really wise to start serving up snippets of other, better cult movies, as Fame did with The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

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