Bad Movies Done Right — Fame

Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: I’m gonna live forever!

Watching Fame, I was struck by two thoughts: “Performing artists sure seem to have it hard” and “So that’s what a two-hour J.C. Penney commercial looks like.”

An update of the classic 1980 musical, Fame reminded me a lot of another bad movie I’ve seen recently: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jr. Both films are watered down, sanitized versions of classic edgy movies that are repurposed to appeal to the Disney tween generation.

Unlike when I watched Ace Ventura Jr., though, I didn’t find myself completely bored out of my everlovin’ mind during Fame. In fact, I found myself kind of enjoying it.

Chalk it up to my inexplicable devotion to musicals, but I dug it – despite its glossy, shallow characters and lack of any original drama.

I’ve always dabbled in the creative arts.

While this dipping of my toe into the pool of inspiration has mostly been in the form of writing, I’ve also done some painting, acting and poetry recital in my day.

My participation in such performance arts has been a real love/hate relationship.

On one hand, I loved the thrill of instant gratification that comes from the feedback after a successful performance. Feeding off the energy of an audience that is appreciating your work can be as powerful as the solar energy of the sun.

On the other hand, I have a real aversion to the douche bags that performing arts tend to attract.

It’s nobody’s fault that people who participate in acting, singing or dancing tend to be complete a-holes. It’s almost a necessity.

You need to possess an obscene amount of confidence to put yourself out there in front of an audience. To do a good job at your craft, you have to have the amount of confidence that tends to twist you into the type of egotistical, competitive jerk that I can’t stand.

Watching Fame, I found myself following the storylines with equal parts envy and repulsion. While I would have found it to be an amazing experience to have gone to a high school that not only encouraged creativity but also required it at every turn, I also can acknowledge the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to stand it there. Surrounded by the type of people such a school would attract, I would have been miserable in that schoolhouse sea of drive, discipline and douche-baggery. The drama queens that would populate the halls of such a school would have sucked all the energy out of me with their competitive, manipulative scheming.

Just as I found myself growing a bit bored by the end of the movie due to the lack of real emotional drama and growing tedium of bland-sounding musical numbers, I imagine I would also grow tired of attending a performing arts school like the one in Fame.

When a school is full of truly talented and gifted students, even the special are transformed into the mundane.

Robert Saucedo hopes its not offensive to use the word “brotha.” Follow him on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.

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