It was wholly inevitable and now it’s arrived… the first wave of High School Musical imitators.
New kid at school Will (Gaelan Connell) is roped into managing a band by its chirpy lead singer (Disney Channel alumnus Alyson Michalka). But will leading the group to a record contract interfere with Will’s romancing of edgy – well, brunette, anyway – outsider – Sam (HSM grad Vanessa Hudgens)?
Todd Graff’s slicker follow-up to Camp sports a respectable set of reference points – Will listens to The Velvet Underground and David Bowie; Sam loves Evil Dead 2. In other words, they’re not so much modern teenagers as avatars for filmmakers long past their own adolescence.
Whether your nine-year-old niece will care about that is moot – but she’ll definitely resent the poor ratio of musical numbers to clunky, contrived emotional scenes. (Nothing like an elderly character’s death to spur resolution…)
Earnest performances – but you can’t dance to those, can you?