|Cover of the Adapted Book|
It’s a movie within a movie: movieception. Directed by Jeffrey Hornaday and based off the novel by Robin Palmer (Cindy Ella), Geek Charming stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and Matt Prokop (Furry Vengeance) as stuck-up high school diva and loser film geek, respectively, as they attempt to work together to make a documentary on the lives of popular people.
The movie’s primary plot is for both Sarah’s character, Dylan, and Matt’s character, Josh, to achieve their goals. Dylan dreams of being crowned Blossom Queen at the spring formal, while Josh aspires to win a film competition to gain a trip to Hollywood. To meet these goals, the two must form an unlikely partnership to create a documentary on Dylan’s quest to become Blossom Queen. However, their respective peer groups warn them against the dangers of mingling.
The exposition of the movie is terribly misleading. What opens as a cheesy, poorly executed cliché ends up developing into a very moving story about friendship (that’s new for a Disney Channel movie, right?). After watching the first minute of movie, I prepared myself for a grueling two hours of watching corny jokes and overplayed characters. Fifteen minutes into the film, my opinion had not budged an inch. But once the completely unsurprising plot began to unfold, I finally became interested. Don’t misunderstand – Geek Charming is an extremely predictable movie that has been seen an infinite amount of times under other titles. Honestly, one of its more gripping features is that it makes many of its characters so annoying that a viewer cannot help but stay through the entire film in hopes of seeing that character get stabbed through the heart. Alas, the movie being Disney, no such justice prevailed.
Horrendous acting dominated the first part of the movie, but the characters soon settled into their roles and stopped trying to oversell their given personas. Possibly the best performance in the movie is given by Hyland as she slowly transitions from an incredibly annoying popular girl to a sensitive and relatable average girl.
Some well-placed, recognizable tunes paired with overly dramatic visuals save the comedy in the movie from being an utter disaster. The movie provided nothing new for audiences and, while enjoyable, will end up being forgotten in only a few days. The cast, after settling into their roles, performed excellently, at least for a televised Disney Channel movie.
The one thing unsettling about this movie (aside from the creepy mother character) is the fact that, despite its unoriginality, I began to cry at the emotional scene at the end. Despite what the movie does wrong, it apparently did something right in crafting a story that makes a person care like that. Geek Charming itself would be an unlikely candidate to win any film festival, yet it is a wonderful choice for family movie night.