Fame (1980)

Rated 2.0

I didn’t see the recently released and deceased sequel to the 1980 hit Fame, but I doubt it was made with the same exuberant craftsmanship of Alan Parker’s original. They certainly didn’t need to change the story, since the 1980 Fame neatly fits the High School Musical mold, minus a stray abortion or two. Fame follows a diverse group of students at a New York performing-arts school, from first auditions to graduation, with the occasional cafeteria singalong in between. Christopher Gore’s script is bloated with clichés, caricatures and cutoff shirts, and not for nothing did you never hear from the ensemble of overage youngsters again. The film offers thinly developed, issues-oriented “mini-stories”—including what we’re led to believe is the school’s only homosexual student—that probably suited the succeeding TV series better than Parker’s film.