CAMP ROCK (2008)
Starring Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Meaghan Jette Martin, Maria Canals Barrera, Alyson Stoner, Julie Brown, Daniel Fathers, Anna Maria Perez deTagle, Jasmine Richards, Jordan Francis, Roshon Fegan, Jennifer Ricci, Kevin Jonas and Nick Jonas.
Screenplay by Karen Gist & Regina Hicks and Julie Brown & Paul Brown.
Directed by Matthew Diamond.
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios. 96 minutes. Rated G.
Well, if you are old enough that you don’t give a damn how dreamy Joe Jonas is and whether or not the cute new actress Demi Lovato will be the next Miley Cyrus – then this sweet but slightly cheesy Disney confection is not for you. However, if you’ve been sitting around wondering how kids who would be students at High School Musical might spend their summer, then you’re in the right place.
Essentially Camp Rock is High School Musical with bunks, rowboats and the Jonas Brothers.
This is both a good thing and a bad.
No one could ever say that there are many surprises in Camp Rock or artistic risks taken.
However, let’s face it, the target audience for Camp Rock isn’t looking for a deep cinematic experience (in fact, the film was made for cable), they just want pretty kids overcoming adversity and learning to express their individuality through bubble-gum pop music.
If you believe in yourself and your talent and don’t become caught up in stardom and bitchiness, you too can win the heart of a dreamy pop star.
I suppose there are worse lessons to be imparting upon our young girls.
The story – what little of one there is – has a young girl named Mitchie (how Disney a name is that?) getting the chance of a lifetime, to spend the summer in a music camp. Her mother – who can’t afford it – takes a job as cook for the camp to get a discount.
At first, Mitchie tells lies to fit in with the rich and popular girls – particularly the queen bee (Meaghan Jette Martin), the bitchy daughter of a famous music diva. However, eventually with the help of her outcast friend (Alyson Stoner) she slowly starts to realize she has to be herself.
In the meantime, a dreamy bad boy pop star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas, who looks amazingly like the grandson of Keith Partridge) is sentenced by his label to spend counseling at the camp as a PR move after his latest tantrum. (Yeah, I’m not quite getting that logic, either….) The winner of the big camp sing-off gets to record a duet with Shane.
Shane overhears a girl singing alone and realizes that he needs to stop recording fluff and do music which really matters to him. Problem is he doesn’t know who was doing the singing, but he sets out to find out who it was.
In the meantime Shane and Mitchie become friends. He likes her because she’s cute and sweet and doesn’t fawn over him. She likes him because he’s dreamy and a rock star, but really sensitive.
Anyone can see where this is going. But that’s okay, it’s pretty enjoyable getting there.
Camp Rock isn’t a great movie – but it never had any delusions to be. However, for a romantic tweenage musical, you can do a lot worse.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 19, 2008.