I have a confession to make -- I am totally and completely in love with made-for-TV Disney movies. It's a sickness, I know... but I can't help myself. There is just something about these totally-formulaic, always shiny movies that sings to my soul.
Especially the ones with, well... singing!
That's not true; for every Camp Rock (wooo! JONAS!!!) there's a Cheetah Girls (uggggggg). Every High School Musical (flip yes!) has a Starstruck (that guy's FACE! Really!?!??! And his name is STERLING KNIGHT?!?!?! You have to be kidding me).
Don't get me wrong, I love real musicals too. But Disney Channel captures my childhood in a way that a gritty Sondheim Song can't.
I picked up Lemonade Mouth the other day on a whim. I'm currently suffering from Bridgette Mendler OVERLOAD (I think Disney put her in every single thing they made over the last two years...) and hadn't heard anything -- good or bad -- about it. But when I popped it in, I was INSTANTLY HOOKED. The formula works: High school setting that is too huge and gorgeous to ever exist in real life + Kids that aren't ACTUALLY kids cuz no one going through puberty looks that good + clearly defined cliques and 100% self-aware protags + a problem that isn't a real problem = smash hit.
It doesn't hurt that the rag-tag team of misfits that makes up "Lemonade Mouth" comes along with just as diverse of music tastes -- their band is this pop/rock/punk/indie/ballad/dance/rap/ska mix of everything -- why doesn't a band like that exist in real life!??!?!
Anyways, suffice it to say Lemonade Mouth is worth a watch. It's cheesy, fun, musical and colourful.
But if you're just into 'up-and-coming-underdog-garage-band-takes-on-established-musicians-who-are-usually-jerks' as a theme in general, here are some other titles from Calgary Public Library that you HAVE to check out:
School of Rock - I'm sure you've seen this classic Jack Black offering, but if you haven't in a while, go check out Miranda Cosgrove before she was a Nickelodeon superstar (thankfully just not one of the ones who sings...)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World - Watch Scott's indie band, 'Sex Bob-Ombs' as they make you 'think about death and get sad and stuff' -- and defeat the evil Gideon Graves, corporate meanie and overall weener. BONUS POINTS for starring a Canadian in a Canadian Setting!
Bandslam - Two previous Disney starlettes, Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka duke it out in a high school garage band, and try, unsuccessfully, to shed their goody-goody days of the Family Channel.
Freaky Friday - Oh mannnnn, ANOTHER Disney Starlette! Okay, if you're just tuning into the program already in progress, Lindsay Lohan is a real hot mess. But if you want to know why people even give a care, it's because she USED to be pretty adorable and reasonably talented. Guys... just be thankful I didn't put a Hilary Duff one in here....
And since music choices are so important to identity, and being in a band (or being obsessed with one) is such a quintessential part of teenagerhood, we've got about a bajillion books about it too: