High School Musical Movie Review
What began as (I'm guessing) a made-for-the-Disney-Channel TV movie is now a DVD, perfect for those Sweet Sixteens and slumber parties where pink-clad thespians can ask who's cuter: Vanessa or Ashley, or whether Vanessa and Zac are right for each other, or who on the basketball team is the absolute dreamiest.
I needn't answer all of these tricky questions for you: You can see for yourself in High School Musical, a simple yet earnest film about the making of... a high school musical. Our lead teens Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) are from opposite worlds but they meet at a Disneyesque vacation spot during an impromptu karaoke contest and discover, omigosh, they can both sing the daylights out of a tune.
Surprise! After summer is over, Gabriella shows up at Troy's high school (where he's best known as a basketballer, not a crooner), and they ultimately decide to tempt fate by going up for the school play. Uh oh! Trouble lurks in the form of Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), a conceited brother-sister team who run the drama department with a teenage iron fist. Who'll win the lead? And what of the big basketball game and academic excellence contest?
You know where it's going, but High School Musical is surprisingly fun despite its obviousness. It helps that there are plenty of in-jokes (with a name like "Sharpay," it's gotta be good), and that the earnest cast members really want to make the film memorable. Some of the songs are appallingly bad (any of the ones that have something to do with basketball, pretty much), but for the most part it's hummably decent.
DVD extras include a sing-along mode, extra scenes, making-of footage, and a music video.