www.whyville.net Sep 6, 2009 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Movie Review: Degrassi Goes Hollywood

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The Cast

Lauren Collins - Paige Michalchuk
Adamo Ruggerio - Marco Del Rossi
Stacey Farber - Ellie Nash
Jake Epstein - Craig Manning
Cassie Steele - Manny Santos
Mike Lobel - Jay Hogart
Miriam MacDonald - Emma Nelson
Evan Williams - Kelly Ashoona
Paul Amos - Mick
Jamie Johnston - Peter Stone
Raymond Ablack - Sav Bhandari
Dalmar Abuzeid - Danny Van Zandt
Nina Dobrev - Mia Jones
Mary Ashton - Hailey Montel
Michael Seater - Michael Ray
Dan Levy - Robbie
Jason Mewes - Himself
Perez Hilton - Himself
Pete Wentz - Himself
Cassadee Pope - Herself

The Plot

Paige Michalchuck is as an assistant to actress Haley Montel, who is famous for being on the reality TV show "The Shores." Paige's friend, Marco Del Rossi, wants to visit her, but she doesn't want him to see her living a lie. After she auditions for and lands the part of Trixie in the movie "Musical High," she invites Marco to visit her in Los Angeles. "Musical High" was written and will be directed by Jason Mewes.

Jason is holding casting calls in Toronto. Manny Santos disobeys her emotionally abusive drama professor, Mick, and auditions for the role of Trixie, the female lead. Before the audition, Mick tells her that she will fail, and she does. Kevin Smith encourages Manny to go to Los Angeles and try out again because during the production of a movie, changes are always made to the cast. Supported by her best friend Emma Nelson and Emma's boyfriend Kelly Ashoona, Manny decides to go to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Jason is upset that his producer Robbie cast Paige for the role of Trixie. Jason wants to cast Manny because he believes she can do better than her audition. But Robbie refuses to recast Paige because she is gaining publicity for the movie and because Manny's audition was terrible.

Peter Stone, Sav Bhandari and Danny Van Zandt make up the band The Studs, and they audition for the role of the band in the movie. After their audition, actor Michael Ray hits on Peter's girlfriend, Mia Jones. Peter punches Michael for doing so, but Michael defends himself and claims he was method acting. Michael also refuses to work with The Studs. With the help of Jay Hogart, The Studs decide to go to Los Angeles and convince Jason Mewes to let them be in the movie. Jay has the keys to the Degrassi school bus which Mr. Sheppard gave him. Manny learns that this is her only way of getting to Los Angeles and decides to come along.

Meanwhile, Marco invites Ellie to join him and Paige in Los Angeles. Ellie agrees to go to avoid family drama. When Marco confronts her about her family drama, she avoids him too. While walking to the fictional Canadian Shop, she runs into Craig and shacks up with him instead of Paige. Meanwhile, Paige has become close friends with Haley who has landed her a spot in Perez Hilton's blog where he taunts her. Also, Haley poorly advises Paige on her career. Paige listens to Haley and soon turns into a diva. Will Paige make a name for herself in Hollywood? Will Manny accomplish her dream of becoming an actress? Will Ellie settle her family drama and reunite with Craig? Will Sav ever get to meet Ben Affleck?

The Criticism

- Liberty and Toby weren't mentioned in the movie even though Ashley was. Liberty attends the same university as Emma and Manny. In the scene where Kevin Smith is giving a lecture to the students of the university, Liberty could have been sitting with Emma and Manny.

- Mia tagged along on the bus ride because Peter is her boyfriend. But Anya didn't come and she is Sav's girlfriend. It was unnecessary for Mia to be in the storyline after The Studs decided to go to Los Angeles. In one scene, she fixed the bus, but someone else could?ve done that. Mia is a teenage mother and in the series, her mother agreed to help take care of her daughter as long as it was an equal partnership. Mia is also a model and if she isn't modeling, she should be with her daughter.

- It was unrealistic that while walking down the street, Ellie would run into Craig, who was eating ketchup chips with Pete Wentz and Cassadee Pope.

- Paige is an unknown celebrity starring in an unknown movie that hasn't even come out yet. Yet she landed the cover of Seventeen Magazine.

- Ben Affleck was mentioned too many times.

- In one scene, Ellie leaves Paige's party and goes to the ocean. Although she can't swim, she walks into the water. Before she drowns, Marco and Craig rescue her. This is unrealistic because Ellie left Paige's party a long time ago and she would have been drowning in the ocean by the time Craig and Marco arrived there.

- When the school bus breaks down, Mia magically keeps the engine running until they reach Los Angeles. It is unrealistic that Mia fixed the engine using clothing when Jay, a mechanic, could not.

- After one fight, it seems that Paige and Marco, who have been best friends since middle school, are no longer friends.

The movie was directed well by Stefan Brogren who plays Mr. Simpson in the series. What I enjoyed about the movie is the acting and the humor. I especially liked that the old and new characters were in the movie because the current season features a new generation of actors. But I can't say the same for the writing. Throughout the series, Paige has always had self-respect. Near the end of the movie, she is willing to risk her reputation to get back in the spotlight.

The movie showcased Paige from season one, the conceited girl who was mean to her peers. After Marco confronts Ellie about her family drama and she walks out on him, Marco enlists Paige's help. But Paige turns her back on Marco to go to a movie premiere. Paige would never do that! In the series, Paige was mean to Ellie when they were fighting for an internship. However, when Paige found out that Ellie was cutting herself, she immediately confronted her and tried to help her. In the series, Paige is always there for her friends.

In addition, the ending was too happy and unrealistic for Degrassi, which is known for its controversial and dramatic storylines. Furthermore, the movie was cheesy. An example was Craig and Ellie walking along the boardwalk and staring at the ocean. Come on! Moreover, everyone had a storyline except Marco. He had nothing going on besides acting as a therapist for Paige and Ellie. I think the writers became too wrapped up in trying to create a movie that audiences would like. So they made a cheesy film that does not live up to the series' name.



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