Queue gravely voiced intro; “It lay silent for 29 years, then, without warning it was unleashed again … it’s name was Fame!”
When Fame was released in 1980 the world was a very different place to the one it is today. The personal computer was only 4 years old and the cell phone was a distant dream. We’d survived the 1970s and were looking forward to the next two decades leading up to the millennium that would signal the beginning of a new age of … whatever.
The original fame came from the same age as the Muppets, and Linda Lovelace, though I’m not saying the two had anything in common. A strange thing to say you’re thinking, but bear with me. I’ve heard it said that if Muppets creator Jim Henson walked into a script meeting and said “Let’s make a movie to make the world a better place.” He actually meant it. He really wanted to spread love and happiness. Fame, while not in quite the same philanthropic league as JH was optimistic, a little innocent (in feel if not in conception) and fun, if you were into that sort of thing.
Move forward to today. Fame has being remade and I get the feeling it has all the nauseating cheesiness of the relentlessly over exploited High School Musical franchise. It’s got all the right faces and all the ingredients to appeal to a wide range of viewers from the teenagers who dream of fame (with a small F) to old pervs who like to watch young girls shake their booté in lycra. It feels cynical to me. OK so the first Fame may have been almost as bad but it felt different to me at the time.
I believe a little honesty is required here, if you want to see girls in Lycra and leg warmers type “Leotard Porn” into Google. If you want to see dancers go and see a decent stage production. But if you want to see a predictable feel-good movie you know what to do.
And if you really want to have very confused feelings about a dancer in a leotard: