Director Kevin Tancharoen makes it clear right from the start that he wants his remake of Fame
to be something like the anti-American Idol
, a celebration of hard work and dedication to craft. This message gets hammered home early on by Principal Simms (Debbie Allen), the head of the High School for the Performing Arts (P.A. for short), in a forceful speech to incoming freshmen about how if they want fame they'll have to pay for it -- in sweat.
And, for the first half-hour, the movie gets by on showing us just that. The opening montage of kids auditioning for the school has a seductive flow; the rapid editing gives the movie momentum, although ...