• Movie

Twenty-three years after its release, MGM’s most untraditional musical gets the DVD upgrade it deserves. Fame (Warner, $19.99) follows a handful of sinfully stereotypical teens — including Leroy, the sexy, illiterate dance thug; Coco, the hot and feisty Latina singer; and Montgomery, the sensitive latent homosexual — struggling after their showbiz dreams at New York’s High School for the Performing Arts. From the realistically imperfect cast (complete with pimples and bad hair) to the gritty setting (midtown, pre-Giuliani gentrification), director Alan Parker created one of the kitschiest, most unrefined and enjoyable depictions of urban youth ever set to show tunes. Unlike the American Idol rip-off reality show that has just adopted its name, the original Fame was a fun, if flawed, film that played cringe-inducing political incorrectness for laughs. ”I dig his black ass,” coos rich girl Hilary van Doren (Antonia Franceschi), pining for Leroy. ”The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice,” Coco (Irene Cara) insists. Whip-smart rejoinder: ”Yes, but who wants diabetes?” Top that, Cooley High. Also included: a voyeuristic behind-the-scenes look at the real High School for the Performing Arts. Still, it’s hard to imagine real-life alumni like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Aniston spontaneously breaking into choreographed dance routines about school lunch. Movie: B Extras: B+

  • Movie
  • R
  • 134 minutes
  • Alan Parker