Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure
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Just how fabulous do you have to be to make it big in the Big Apple? One aspiring diva is about to find out...the hard way! Ashley Tisdale shines in this totally captivating comedy.
After a talent scout spots her performing with her dog Boi at a charity gala, Sharpay Evans (Tisdale) sets off for the bright lights of NYC, convinced instant fame and fortune are in the bag (designer bag, that is). But theatre's a dog-eat-dog world, as she and Boi discover when they encounter the devious owner of a pampered pooch named "Countess" and a scheming Broadway starlet who will do anything to crush the competition. Fortunately, Sharpay also meets Peyton (Austin Butler), a handsome student filmmaker who finds Sharpay nearly as fascinating as she finds herself.
Sparkling with fun, fashion and fantastic bonus features, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure will make your whole family stand up and cheer!
Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale, High School Musical) has never lacked self-confidence, so when a Broadway casting agent sees her perform with her dog Boi and offers to set up an audition in New York, Sharpay assumes she'll immediately succeed as a Broadway star. Her father is skeptical, but Sharpay quickly arranges for a penthouse in New York, sets up an appointment to audition, and convinces her father to give her a month to follow her dreams and achieve success. New York has some surprises in store for the aspiring young actress, starting with a no-pets policy that lands Sharpay and her dog out on the street on their very first day in town. Enter Peyton, a budding filmmaker and the son of Sharpay's mother's college friend, and the realization that it's Boi who's auditioning for a part rather than Sharpay, and Sharpay's dreams quickly begin to unravel. Forced to stoop lower than she could ever have imagined, Sharpay scrambles to salvage some shred of her dreams, but it looks like failure is imminent. Like Sharpay, this film is quite predictable, very pink, and often overdone--but then, that's the whole point--and the target audience of tweens and young teens is sure to find it all quite entertaining. Sharpay will likely never learn humility, but her character does grow during the film as she learns to adapt, to at least take note of the motivations and feelings of those around her, and discovers an unexpected inner strength. Austin Butler gives a strong performance as Peyton, the only real two-dimensional character in the film, and Tisdale is once again frighteningly believable as the self-absorbed Sharpay. Bradley Steven Perry (Good Luck Charlie) and Cameron Goodman (Friends with Benefits) are both adequate in their respective roles, but the rest of the cast is fairly marginal. All formats include several brief doggie bloopers. The Blu-ray two-disc pack includes an "Evolution of Sharpay" featurette with interview footage of Tisdale and an "Austin Cam" segment with backstage and onstage footage shot by Butler. The three-disc limited-edition combo pack offers all the aforementioned features and comes packaged in a pink clutch purse and a tri-fold cardboard sleeve with pictures from the film. (Ages 9 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
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The main reason to see this film is Ashley Tisdale. This is the fourth time she has played this character, and somewhere along the line Sharpay Evans stopped being a caricature and became a person. Tisdale is impeccable in the role. Her line readings are flawless--she takes already good one-liners and makes them even better with her timing. Helping her out is a superior script with arguably better dialogue than the original HSM. Sharpay has graduated high school, but her father wants her to go to woor--wrr--wrrrr...go into his business. But Sharpay is a star! Papa Evans gives her just one month in New York to get on Broadway, or she has to go to wrrrrr...you know. The film is the story of her zig-zag ride to fame. Because of course, she already has the fortune.
It's a cheesy direct-to-DVD movie in many ways, but in other ways it is not. Whoever did the costume design in this film is A) a genius and B) obsessed with Sharpay Evans. The outfits in this film are incredible, and there are a LOT of them. The set decoration team is equally superb (witness Sharpay's gloriously, epically pink studio apartment. PINK I tell you!). Austin Butler as her kind, handsome love interest is solid (and seems genuinely taken with his, as he puts it, "Pink Hurricane"). The cinematography is far above direct-to-DVD standards. And there are so many charming moments--like the shot of Sharpay sitting forlorn and baffled, atop an enormous pile of bedazzled pink luggage.
In conclusion, probably the greatest Disney direct-to-DVD movie of all time. I know that's a low bar, but still, this is a cute film. There was real thought, real care put into this movie and it upset me to see it awash in two star reviews. As Kid President says, it's more better than that. If you like this kind of thing, and you know if you do, this is worth a look. Because as Sharpay herself puts it, she's just like everyone else.
Only a little better.
When Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) is complimented by a Broadway casting agent after a performance in a local fundraiser, she thinks her ship has finally come in. She convinces her dad to pay for her to go to New York and audition; sure she will get the leading part in a new musical. She only knows one person in the city, Payton (Austin Butler), the son of her mother's college friend.
However, when Sharpay arrives in New York, she learns the casting agent was actually interested in her dog, Boi. Desperate to have any excuse to stay in New York (the alternative is to go home and go to wo-wo-wo-work), Sharpay agrees to let her dog addition for the part. Unfortunately, there's one other dog still in the running. Will Sharpay get to stay in New York?
Now I'm going to be completely honest here. The plot is so formulaic you can see the "twists" coming a mile away. So one or two developments took me by surprise, but they were mid-point complications. The ending didn't surprise me at all.
Also working against the movie is Sharpay. She's long been my least favorite character in the franchise. I almost passed on the movie as a result. And once again, any character growth we've seen in the previous movies is thrown out the window as the beginning finds Sharpay selfish and manipulative. As much as I dislike the lack of continuity, I must admit that I find her fun, so I soon forgot about that.
The movie has four new songs (one of them sung twice). All of them are done on stages, and I'll admit I was a bit surprised not to see more songs like in the High School Musical movies. However, all of them were good and work for the story as well as the play within the story.
Now here's the part where I have to be honest. By the time the movie was over, I was enjoying myself. No, this isn't a great film. But it is fun and entertaining. I was laughing at parts, one montage in particular. I was concerned that the characters get a happy ending. I have a feeling that the 9-12 year old target audience for this film will absolutely love it.
Praise for that has to go to the actors. While the characters can be over the top, they manage to keep their performances real enough that I bought them. That has to be especially hard for Ashley since Sharpay is anything but grounded early in the story. About the only weak part in the cast was the writer character, and that was mainly because I found his "shtick" less and less funny each time he was on the screen. Yep, it was a problem with the writing and not the acting. And actor can only do so much with a one note character
You don't really need to have seen the High School Musical movies to understand this one, although a cameo at the end doesn't mean as much if you don't know the characters.
Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure will never make anyone's list of great films, and it doesn't deserve to be there. But if your kids are looking for a diverting film, they will find this one fits the bill completely.
Rant aside, fans of HSM who enjoyed Sharpay in HSM should enjoy it. Ashley does a great job, the few songs it has are good, and overall it was as good as any other Dcom. I could have done without the dog-romance storyline though.