‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’ graduates with honors
Vail, CO, Colorado
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained by “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” despite being well out of the target-demographic age range. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t laugh out loud at times, and wish that the sweetly romantic world of High School Musical actually existed in real life. The truth is, this is a fun, fluffy movie with morals and integrity; parents won’t have to be on guard when they take their kids to the theater. There’s no sex or violence, just a positive reinforcement of what’s possible when youth are surrounded by loving, caring people who only want the best for them ” something lacking in most children’s entertainment these days.
The third installment of the super popular High School Musical franchise continues with the stories of several students at East High School as they approach the end of their senior year. There’s plenty of melodrama, cheesy dialogue and energetic dance numbers as each character decides their post-high school fate, but there’s rarely a dull moment as director Kenny Ortega (“High School musical 2”) keeps the pace from slowing down too much through most of the film.
From the beginning we are thrown into the last seconds of East High’s championship basketball game with rival West High. Not having seen the previous “High School Musical” movies, I didn’t expect East High’s basketball team to break into song only minutes into the flick, but I guess I should have seen it coming. From there, b-ball star Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and his girlfriend Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) get most of the screen time as the tension builds over whether or not the pair’s romance will survive once they start attending different colleges and pursue different careers.
But before the cast can go in different directions, they get one more chance to do something together, and thanks to theater teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed), that something is the graduation play “Senior Year.”
The movie is full of the usual teenage drama scenes where affluent white kids have to make the most important decisions of their lives, like which college to attend, and which careers they want to pursue. Because they’re in high school, break ups aren’t just break ups, they’re full-on tectonic plate shifts that can determine the fate of the universe. It’s actually all very silly to watch, considering I remember high school like it was yesterday, and it was easy to be that dramatic about everything in those days.
The dancing and singing carry the movie, though, and thankfully, none of the songs got stuck in my head.
Even the really ridiculous aspects of High School Musical work, like school snob Sharpay Evans’ (Ashley Tisdale) Paris Hilton-esque wardrobe and I’m-better-than-everyone attitude. She may be cast as the villain of the film, but it never gets out of hand or threatening. She’s just one more misunderstood friend in the world of High School Musical, where nobody has enemies, just people they like less than everyone else.
It goes without saying that most pre-teens will enjoy this harmless flick, and parents, if you let your guard down, you will too, no matter how jaded you are by the daily grind of adult life. At the very least you can pretend to get those precious teenage years back for a couple of hours.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Movie: High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
Directed by: Kenny Ortega.
Starring: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman.
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