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Among the talented younger cast, one of the breakout stars is Naturi Naughton, who plays aspiring pianist Denise, and seems to be channeling some of the exuberance of Cara's performance in the original (she sings a swell version of the title song, too). Other talented newbies to watch include Collins Pennie, who plays Malik, a bitter youth still dealing with the raw hand he was dealt as a kid; the winsome Kay Pannebaker, as Jenny; and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, who plays the ravishing Joy. "You have talent," bellows Grammer's Mr. Cranston. "Now let's see what you can do with it!" The adults wisely get out of the way to let the kids, especially Denise, shine.
As with the original, the music is a standout, and the soundtrack is well worth appreciating on its own. Some songs from the 1980 Fame are included, and updated just enough to feel fresh, including the title tune, as well as "Out Here on My Own," also sung by Naughton. And the new soundtrack features many new tunes, including Pennie singing "Street Hustlin'" and Mullally's memorable "You Took Advantage of Me." And if this remake (directed by Kevin Tancheroen) doesn't quite eclipse the freshness of the first Fame, it's a more than satisfying companion. See you in the spotlight! --A.T. Hurley
(Heavy sigh to start the review.) Okay, I did not expect this to rival the excellent original. And it certainly did not. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Christine