Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this remake of the 1980 movie musical Fame has been heavily marketed to tweens and teens on television and online. Although it's rated PG (unlike the original, which was rated R), it feels more like a PG-13 movie, especially in regard to underage drinking (the high schoolers are shown drinking several times, and in one scene a girl gets so drunk that she throws up) and language, which includes more than a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and the like. The sexuality is also more obvious than in most PG movies, with several kisses and one video-taped "casting couch" make-out session. On the bright side, there's considerably less consumerism than in comparable teen-focused movies, the cast is incredibly diverse, and the underlying messages about working hard and fighting for your dreams are definitely worthwhile.
Several kisses, some involving major characters and others between extras in the background. A couple of the kisses are quite passionate, and one (within the context of a "casting session") ends up briefly horizontal. A character warns his girlfriend that another guy is hitting on her and only wants to "hook up"; another girl seems to be flaunting her boyfriend to annoy her stuffy parents. Some of the dances are quite sensuous.
No on-screen violence (though performers definitely fall down several times), but Malik discusses his family's violent past, including how his little sister was killed by stray bullets from a gang-related shooting. One character looks poised to jump in front of a subway train but doesn't at the last minute.
More swearing than you'd expect in a PG-rated film, including several uses of "s--t," plus "bulls--t," "ass," "bitch," "hos," goddamn," "a--hole," "my God," "hell," "screw," "retarded," and more.
The movie aims to convey positive messages about hard work and following your dreams. It doesn't sugar coat how hard it is to succeed as a performer (some students are told frankly that they won't make it, and others have to make very difficult choices), but it also promotes dedicating yourself to whatever you feel passionate about. All of the students have overcome personal odds to be at the school, and a couple of them make decisions to follow their own dreams instead of those their parents have imposed upon them.
Considerably less than many teen-targeted films; mostly just minor references to YouTube, OK magazine, and Sesame Street (one of the students lands a spot in the cast).
Drugs / Tobacco /
Most of the extracurricular scenes involve obvious or implied underage drinking -- often at parties, but also at a club. In one case, a teen girl purposely gets drunk (to "expand her life experience") and throws up; she subsequently says she'll never do it again. Teachers are present at some of the occasions when teens are drinking.