It's embarrassing how excited I was to see HSM3. I didn't even hide the fact that I wanted to go see it for me...oh, and my seven year old daughter could come too, if she wanted. (Actually I took both my kids--Payson loves the movies too--and saw it with Michelle and her kids, which was so much fun.)
HSM stuck to it's tried and true formula while making the transition to the big screen. I was curious if it would be different at all, being a "real movie" now. I am happy to report there was not much change. I loved the things about it that I always loved--the singing, dancing, romance, squeaky clean and incredibly trendy teenagers. I cringed at the parts I always cringed at--Gabriella's giggles, Troy's solo dances, and basically all the parts that tried so hard to be "cute." (I don't do cute.)
Zac Efron is better than ever as Troy. You can easily tell he is the only real actor in the bunch, which makes sense, since he is the only one who actually has a resume under his belt. The rest can sing and dance and smile real good, but Zac can act. I don't know how he does it, but even when he's popping and locking and doing his best impression of a boy band member, he doesn't make me squirm in my seat, embarrassed for him. He totally pulls it off, somehow. However, every rose has its thorn, and of course he had to have his angst-filled solo song and dance (remember the Bet On It scene in #2?. I gotta say this one beat that one out.)
Vanessa Hudgens is still the same sugar-coated, ultra sweet Gabriella. She's so beautiful it's sickening, with a body to die for, and she can definitely sing, but usually as I'm watching her I want to hit Troy in the head and say, "Really?" No one who giggles that much is a "freaky genius girl." Even Sharpay seems to have more inside her head than Gabriella. And I swear, if I had to hear her call Troy "Wildcat" one more time I was going to throw my diet Dr. Pepper at the screen.
The Sharpay bit wore a little thin for me the third time around, but I was pleased to see that despite the nose job, Ashley Tisdale still looked like Sharpay.
The music (which is the essence of the film, as we all know) was as good as always--catchy, fun, soon to be running incessantly through all our heads. A couple of songs were ruined for me by the dance numbers that accompanied them, but I know once I'm rocking out to the soundtrack in my minivan, I'll fall in love with them too.
Michelle and I had fun gawking at some of the wardrobe choices. You won't believe it until you see it, but Gabriella wears a dress that seriously--I kid you not--has sleeves that look something akin to these ones, only on a smaller scale:
It was a cute, flower-print dress, with total 80's sleeves. And some of Ryan's and Sharpay's ensembles were laughable. It was funny if they were going for laughs, but if not...ouch.
All in all, I walked away satisfied with the final installment of High School Musical. In fact, I almost teared up a little at the end, which really concentrated on the "finale" aspect. For starting out as someone who swore up and down they would NEVER watch such a cheesy, gag-inducing movie, I've come a long way to the not-ashamed-to-admit-it-HSM fan that I am. If you're a fan, you'll love it too.