The New Fame: Sanitized Moppets Sing the Body Generic
Baby, look at me. Gone are Leroys cornrows, short-shorts, and leg warmers: The anodyne adolescents in 25-year-old Kevin Tancharoens directorial debut (written by Allison Burnett) suggest not the charismatic, street-smart pupils at Performing Arts, but the Up with People squares. Dont you know who I am? Like all good drama queens, the students in Alan Parkers 1980 original, which unfolded during an unmistakably Koch-era New York, take up space (blocking traffic on West 46th Street) and disrespect authority (dropping f-bombs in class, smashing school property). They also do drugs, have sex (and abortions, if necessary), and stay up past midnight. The new class at P.A. is strictly PG, sharing a chummy coffee with the vocal instructor (Megan Mullally) who takes them on a karaoke field trip to Lucky Chengs, where not one drag queen is visible. Light up the sky like a flame. Though his gayness was awkwardly shoehorned in, carrot-topped Montgomery was at least undeniably out in Parkers film. His closest analoguemany of the kids in the remake are race and/or gender inversions of the original charactersmerely alludes to homo-leanings through emo, Efron-esque bangs and a slightly swish carriage. Members of the class of 80 struggled to stay in school despite homelessness and crime; the greatest crisis in 09 finds a students Sesame Street work-schedule affecting her GPA. The sanitized moppets in the new Fame sing the body generic.
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