High School Musical

A runaway Disney Channel hit, this peppy modern-day musical follows the standard Boy Meets Girl/Boy Loses Girl/Boy Does Duets With Girl trajectory, and but director/choreographer Kenny Ortega instills the not-so-dirty dance moves with real verve and never lets the production's wholesomeness get too corny. During a ski lodge vacation, two teens from different...read more

Reviewed by Robert Pardi
Rating:

A runaway Disney Channel hit, this peppy modern-day musical follows the standard Boy Meets Girl/Boy Loses Girl/Boy Does Duets With Girl trajectory, and but director/choreographer Kenny Ortega instills the not-so-dirty dance moves with real verve and never lets the production's wholesomeness get too corny.

During a ski lodge vacation, two teens from different cultures make beautiful music together. Jock Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is the star of his East High basketball team, while egghead Gaby Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), who attends a another school, shines at science fairs. Paired up for a karaoke contest, the young strangers discover love at first song. In a sweet twist of fate, Gaby subsequently enrolls at Troy's high school, and as part of her fresh start, she decides to keep her academic gifts a secret so she isn't pegged as a square. At East High, intellectuals don't mingle with athletes, theater freaks don’t hang out with skateboarders and nerds don’t mix with Goths. But after Troy and Gaby reconnect, they can't resist the impulse to audition for the school play, and Troy alienates his teammates by ignoring the unspoken rule that you can only excel at one thing. Drama coach Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) will probably select Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her brother, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), for the leads anyway, but Sharpay isn't taking any chances: She leaks word that Gaby is a brainiac and arranges for musical auditions to be held at the same time as both the basketball playoffs and the scholastic decathlon. Can Troy and Gaby slip out of their events and make it to try-outs — perhaps the star-crossed warblers can't have it all after all.

As blandly tasty and comforting as a grilled cheese sandwich, this film defied all expectations to become a bona fide tween obsession, earn six Emmy nominations and sell a phenomenal 2.1 million copies on DVD in a mere five weeks.

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