October 26, 2008

High School Musical 3: A review

The Princess and I met up with friends today and ventured to the local movie theater to catch “High School Muscial 3: Senior Year”. Release Friday, this is the (obviously) third installment in the High School Musical trilogy, capitalizing on the run away success of the first movie, released in 2006 on the Disney Channel.

We went to a noon showing the theater was about half full, but upon exiting the theater at 2:30, the lobby was quite full of kids wearing High School Musical gear which seemed to indicate a much busier showing.

HSM3

Honestly, I was a bit worried about paying to see the movie. Sequels usually aren’t very good and “High School Musical 2” was certainly nothing to write home about (nor pay extra for) so I had pretty low expectations for part 3.

The premise of the movie, obviously, deals with the “Wild Cats” and their last few months of high school. THe movie opens during basketball seasons, slides through prom, the spring “musicale” and graduation. Frankly, the large portion of kids at the movie were young ‘ens. around the Princesses age. The songs are catchy, the romance tame, no slurs, epithets or violence which is appealing, but does the high school experience really translate to the third grade set? I’m not sure.

Overall, the movie was okay. Much better than I anticipated, but my expectations were pretty low. THe musical numbers were very….opulent, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I like musicals. I did have a few problems with the movie. Here they go.

Most of the lead characters are in excess of 20 years old, with the exception of the principle leads, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgins and Corbin Bleu. The actress who plays Taylor McKessie, actress Monique Coleman, is 28 years old.

Dude, she’s MY age.

Also, I have to wonder, though, if we’re setting our kids up for some seriously unrealistic expectations of high school life AND high school relationships. I mean, beyond the winnings sports teams. Troy scales the tree outside of Gabriella’s room to present her with pizza margarita and chocolate strawberries, he drives a junker truck over a thousand miles to see her on prom night (and, where are his parents? Who would let their son drive a junker 1000 miles when the damn truck won’t even start up and drive home? At least it didn’t show us a limousine service prom, to be honest the pick up truck prom seems way more fun.) And, in my experience, the idea of cohesion inside the class as shown in HSM is….well….mythical. Admirable, buy mythical.

Overall, I’d take your kids to the movie without concern if they’re fans. The kids seem to like it and it wasn’t totally horrible from my perspective either (but I like “Elf” and “Goonies”, so take my taste in movies as you will). And, it was kind of neat to sit back for a couple of hours and reflect on my high school experience for a little bit…..

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