Alan Parker’s 1980 movie, about the New York High School of the Performing Arts and its teachers and students, gets a 21st century update here. Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth (who played Frasier and his ex-wife Lilith on sitcom Frasier) and Megan Mullally are among the grown-ups playing some of the teachers, while a cast of unknowns get to sing, dance and pout for our amusement as the pupils desperate to become famous.
It’s tamer than the original (clearly aimed at the kids growing out of High School Musical and Hannah Montana) but the message that becoming a star involves hard work, sacrifice and practice remains clear as kids including diva Denise (Naturi Naughton) and drama student Malik (Collins Pennie) fight their way to the top. The music’s fine, too – everything from gospel to R&B to jazz gets a look in – making this a fun song-and-dance movie for kids, even if their parents will be sitting in the background tutting that the original was much better.
Is Fame (2009) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...