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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" Review: Dare I Say, Fabulous?

You see it so many times. A movie does well, so the studio decides to do a spin-off with one of the characters. But those spin-offs rarely measure up.

So when I heard Disney was doing a direct-to-DVD spin-off of “High School Musical” featuring Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), I got concerned. After all, Sharpay was the most underdeveloped character of the franchise. She spent most of each of the three movies scheming against Gabriella and/or Troy, until the last 15 minutes or so when she would realize the error of her ways and be friends with everyone again. I just couldn’t see spending a whole movie focusing on her—especially without her brother Ryan.

But when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. And I couldn’t have been more wrong about “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure”…

The movie picks Sharpay up a year after graduation. She’s taken the year off to find herself. But when a New York casting director finds her, she’s determined to make it on her own in NYC and become a Broadway star. And she’s so sure it will happen, she’s not even concerned about her father’s one-month deadline.

But of course, it’s not nearly as easy as Sharpay thinks it will be. A 12-year-old boy and a diva actress are just two of the roadblocks in her way. Fortunately, she has film student Peyton (Austin Butler) to help her negotiate the Big Apple as he films her for his movie.

It’s hard not to watch the movie without thinking about “Legally Blonde,” because there are a lot of similarities between Sharpay and Elle Woods. But that’s okay because it totally works. The script is smart, the songs are catchy and Tisdale is completely adorable.

But most importantly, the movie finally gives Sharpay the depth she deserves as she learns there’s no one to spoil her in the big city and that if she wants something, she’ll just have to get it herself.

Since he’s my favorite “HSM” character, I do miss Ryan and his portrayer Lucas Grabeel, and I think not even mentioning him was a glaring error. Plus, this being a Disney movie, the ending is a little too convenient. But the rest of the movie is so solid, you’re willing to overlook those minor things.

If you’re a fan of “HSM,” you definitely need to pick up “Fabulous.” But you honestly don’t have to be a “HSM” fan to enjoy it. You just have to like fun family fare. And a lot of pink…

“Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure” is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack

Photos Credit: Copyright Disney. All rights reserved.