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Parents' Guide to

Fame (2009)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teen musical remake has edgy content for a PG movie.

Movie PG 2009 105 minutes
Fame (2009) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 11+

Should Have Been Renamed "LAME"

I was expecting much, much better, considering the all-star cast and the original's success. But the story line is disjointed, the characters aren't believable and the dancing didn't even make it worthwhile. Extremely disappointing.
age 13+

12 and up

Lets just start by saying that there is no way this should be rated pg. There were tons of teens drinking at parties and teachers and adults just sitting there watching. Also, one girl (who your kids might recognize from Disney like Hannah Montana and Camp Rock) gets intentionally drunk then throws up. Also there are many kisses. One adult invites this girl to his trailer to audition for a tv show then tricks her and makes out with her and tries to take of her shirt. But she has a boyfriend! Another thing was language. There was just about every swear word in there. I was so surprised! They swore like every 2 minutes! There was way more language than a normal pg movie. Now for violence. This wasn't a huge problem but there were a few issues. First of all, one boy was describing how his sister had gotten killed in a gang shooting then the teacher laughs at him. Also another boy is really depressed and he tries to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train. People pull him back just in time, but it was still a scary scene.. even for me. So all in all, I would reccomend this for ages 12 and up only

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (40 ):

The new crop of performing arts students are cute, and a couple seem poised for Disney flicks, primetime teen soaps, or musical careers, but it's hard to really care about any of them. After seeing the updated Fame, anyone old enough to remember (remember... remember...) the original will want to listen to Irene Cara's rendition of the theme song and wax nostalgic about how that high-school musical became a cultural touchstone of the early 1980s. Sure, the 2009 version has the same premise, an equally diverse cast of newcomers, and even a supporting role by Debbie Allen -- whose famous quote from the first movie -- "You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying, in sweat" -- is played over the opening credits. The problem is, unlike the original cast of memorable misfits and prodigies, the new generation of performing students is quite bland.

As the school's teachers, the always-excellent Kelsey Grammer (music), Bebe Neuwirth (dance), Megan Mullally (musical theater), and Charles S. Dutton (drama) are all much, much more interesting than any of the students. You almost starts hoping for an extended sequence in the faculty lounge, a la Glee. Parents and Gen-Xers hoping to hear the songs from the original film will be mostly disappointed (sorry, no "I Sing the Body Electric"), although Naughton does a lovely job with "Out Here On My Own," and Book capably delivers short covers of "Ordinary People" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." But despite a few entertaining numbers, it's hard to believe that this Fame will have anything close to the cultural impact on teens that the original did in the age of leg warmers and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts.

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