This is a Disney Channel Original Movie, so don't go into it expecting anything too much in the way of a plot. The sitcom-type story is supported (and padded) by a full soundtrack of tween pop music and dancing, and touches on many of the issues facing the target age group, namely fitting in, peer pressure, un-cool and too-cool parents, jealousy, and last but not least, loving the Jonas Brothers.
Tween idol Joe Jonas plays the leading man, a young pop star who's been behaving badly, and gets sentenced to teaching dance classes at an upscale summer camp for musicians. The other Jonas brothers also play supporting roles, and perform a couple of songs at the camp.
Demi Lovato plays the female lead, a promising singer/songwriter whose mother takes a catering job at the camp so that she can afford the fees. There's also the rich girl, played by Meaghan Jette Martin, and her obligatory two henchgirls; the usual outcast who befriends the new girl (well played by Alyson Stoner), and the well intentioned Camp Director. Add some supporting singers and dancers, and a ready group of back-up dancers, and you have (drum roll) Camp Rock.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Girl goes to camp and meets boy
2. Girl messes up big time
3. This is a Disney movie, so after the song and dance, everyone lives happily ever after.
While I recognize the age-appropriate manner in which the movie addresses certain issues, the wrapping up happens far too quickly to be even remotely believable, but then, the target audience probably isn't paying too much attention to the story anyway.
I've seen girls doing the "I'm not worthy" bow in front of posters for this movie, so I'm guessing that it would be a good gift for any fan of the Jonas Brothers on your list.
Tween rating: 4.5 stars
Adult rating: 3 stars (given for the music and the family values)
Amanda Richards, August 30, 2008