After Disney's High School Musical and its sequels took over the tweeny-bopper world a few years ago, Disney took the successful formula worldwide. Rock It! (2010) is Disney Germany's interpretation of the teen rom-com musical.
This version (which has its U.S. premiere at CICFF) has a little Camp Rock vibe mixed in. Julia (Emilia Schüle, in the Vanessa Hudgens/Gabriella role) goes to an elite conservatory boarding school, only to discover the joys of both rock music and rock musicians (Bieber-coiffed Daniel Axt, as Germany's answer to Zac Efron/Troy). Torn between two different musical worlds, she tries to lead a double life while nemesis Betty (Vivien Wulf as a Sharpay-esque diva) is intent on revealing her secret to push forward her own musical ambitions.
The story's heavy on predictability and corny moments, but it's got the good-looking stars, starry-eyed love scenes and catchy (even in German) song-and-dance numbers that guarantee a hit among tweens. It's an hour-and-a-half of sugary, pop fun, and HSM fans will get an added kick out of making comparisons between the flicks. If you've got one in your house, this film fest screening is one to see.
CICFF screens Rock It!in German with English subtitles at 7pm on Saturday, October 22 at Facets Multimedia (1517 W Fullerton Ave); and at 10am on Friday, October 28 at the Patio Theater (6008 W Irving Park Road).