The HSM3 countdown (High School Musical 3, for you neophytes) began in our house this past summer, when Devon–my 10 year old HSM fanatic beyond words–wrote it on the calendar for 10/24. The excitement built as we flipped the calendar to October, then the daily countdown started until the Huge Premiere on Friday. It was “the most important day all year” for her.
The theatre was full of giddy girls and a smattering of boys, mixed with the five girls I carted there. As the previews ended (boy, did Walt Disney know and prep their audience for a large number of upcoming Disney flicks), the audience started clapping and cheering. Uh oh! I had not seen this excitement since waiting for the premiere of Sex and the City (SATC) opening night, when the audience exploded before the film even began. A bit like being in the Oprah waiting area–a very surreal experience. Why were people clapping, when there was nothing to cheer for yet? Well, these girls are definitely preparing themselves for the SATC 22 or HSM for adults, when Troy/Gabriella/Sharpee/Chad are all grow’d up.
The bubble gum high school world that Disney envisions is too squeaky clean and peppy for today; no sex, drugs, violence, but lots of rock and roll and pop. At least Troy showed a bit of senior spunk, playing locker room tricks, and ditching his prom to find his true love. The storyline was familiar, the characters trying to step out of their cliche roles. The songs were upbeat, appropriate and dancable for the kids, the choreagraphy was excellent and difficult, the costumes inviting. Hands down, our favorite scene and song was “The Boys are Back” in the car lot. Inspiring, reminisent, and plain fun.
After the first expected screeaaammmm at the giant Troy Bolton head filled the screen was followed by some silence after the first couple of songs. I felt the restrained excitment in the theatre, but I think they felt strange clapping during a film. One person started after one song, and the hooting and cheering filled the room after every song after that. Thanks to YouTube and brilliant Disney marketing, the kids knew most of the words to several songs. I was out of my element there.
I felt that these kids were as into this film as the audience was when we saw SATC. They knew the characters and storyline, though in SATC there were more surprises, sex and adult-oriented humor. It was being part of a group watching the movie, almost feeling like a voyeur into a world we already knew. But, can someone explain the last song to me? None of us understood the silly “High School Musical” song or the film ending.
I didn’t plan on writing about HSM3 this weekend or ever, but the experience of going on opening night was so similar to being with my friends at SATC I could not resist. Without the alcohol, though. SATC was a better film, though I did enjoy HSM3 more than expected. C