(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Lemonade Mouth)
Doug (vo): So I thought I knew all the really big Disney Channel movies like High School Musical, Zenon, and so forth. But after I did the Disneycember focusing on the Disney Channel movies, everyone seemed to say I missed Lemonade Mouth. "How could you not talk about Lemonade Mouth? Everybody knows Lemonade Mouth." And...yeah, I never even heard of it. But sure enough, I got a copy, took a look, and... (Snickers) What the hell did I just watch? The setup for this movie, you can easily see on a chart in some executive's office. What if the Breakfast Club had a rock band? That's...pretty much it. A bunch of anti-authoritative teens who are really good deep down in their hearts, but are always fighting against the evil bad principal who just doesn't get the joke. No, really. They say that a lot in this. Lemonade Mouth is a movement. Yeah, this is less of a movement and more of that Saved By the Bell episode where they go into the history of their band. Yeah, remember that was an episode, with all the stereotypical band cliches? (An image of that show's episode is shown) It's pretty much what this is.
Doug (vo): A group of absolutely beautiful kids all get in trouble for various reasons. Thus, they're all sent to detention on the same day, and wouldn't you know it? They all happen to have incredible musical abilities. The music teacher really wants to utilize their talents and put them in a band so that she can really stick it to the big bad principal who just cares about getting sponsorships for his sports teams. But, dude, that's not what they really want to do. They were just horsing around. Or...do they? Overtime, they think about it, and decide they do want to put a band together. But there's a big bad evil band who's even more popular, and constantly tries to sabotage them, and wouldn't you know it? They're in cahoots with the principal. Well...wait. I thought he was cutting funding to the music program because it didn't get enough people looking at it. But everyone seems to know this group! When it's discovered the good guys' band is gonna play alongside them, shortening their run, the whole entire school is pissed off at them. Well, wait a minute! If the whole entire school knows who they are and they get angry at this, clearly, there would be money behind it! Hell, it looks like people are even more into this band than they are basketball or football.
(Several scenes that are about to be described are shown)
Doug (vo): However, when the big bad band is making fun of them, one of them takes a big gulp of lemonade and spits it at him, resulting in their band named Lemonade Mouth. Of...course? They, of course, turn out to be a big hit, but they don't want to do this for the music, they want to do it 'cause they have something important to say, like how they're actually gonna take away the lemonade...vending machine...what? First of all, when have you ever seen a sign on a vending machine that says it's gonna be moved? Who does that? Second, who gives a shit? You see her talk in front of the whole audience saying, like, "Yeah, they're gonna get rid of the lemonade vending machine and bring in this other one that's, like, a corporate sponsor", and everyone's like, "Boo!" (Laughs a bit) What? She tries to turn into this big movement that the school is too controlled by the sponsorship, but the big bad principal shuts it down. They're too dangerous. The school is just so excited about their movement that they keep putting signs everywhere, even this giant banner that this guy, for the life of him, can't get down. Look at this! Is he even trying?
(A scene showing the principal speaking with Mo, the band's bassist, is shown. The background shows a man trying to remove a large "Lemonade Mouth" banner from the school building near them, but for some reason is unable to do so)
Doug (vo; mimics the man): Well, I tried lightly tugging on it. Let me try lightly tugging on it some more. Oh, maybe if I kind of...push it! Oh, that didn't work. Maybe if I...push it! Oh, that didn't work. Maybe if I...push it! (Laughs and speaks normally) What is this movie?
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): And then everything, and I do mean quite literally, everything simultaneously goes wrong. One of them loses her voice, the other gets allergies, the other has family problems, the other, like, smashes his fingers, like, what are the chances? But it's okay. When they get to the big climax at the end when they're supposed to play, they all choke. That's right. None of them can do it, some of them get the nerves or they're just thrown off or whatever, but the audience sings the song for them. And next thing you know, they're at Madison Square Gardens. How the hell did that happen?! You're literally so bad the crowd has to sing the song for you, and suddenly, you're landing this gig? I mean, I'm sure time is supposed to have passed and everything, but come on! That's kind of a big edit. I think a few other things would happen in-between.
Doug (vo): So, yeah, as you'd imagine, this movie's pretty stupid. I can't say it's quite Camp Rock 2-bad or Cheetah Girls-bad. I mean, it is really dumb, but it is kind of enjoyable how dumb it is. I'll also give it credit that it is trying to tackle something of substance. I mean, the kids do have some real problems, they talk about them, they try to figure them out. I like the idea of questioning school authority. I mean, when you think about it, you actually don't see that too much in Disney Channel. But all of it just feels so phony and manipulative. None of it feels real, you just feel like they're trying to tell a G-rated version of Behind the Music. Sometimes, it results in some real good laughs, though.
(One of the film's supporting characters, Principal Stanley Brenigan, is shown in several clips)
Doug (vo): Christopher McDonald, for example, has made a whole career out of being the bully. He just has the look, he has the mannerisms, he has the acting for it. He always plays this part. But he's done it so much, he's kind of turned into Nelson from The Simpsons. He's just this archetype, but really has fun with it. And he's hilarious in this. He knows exactly what he's supposed to be, and he goes beautifully over-the-top with it. (One scene showing the principal riding on a segway is shown) Look at him on the segway. How many hours must he have spent on this thing to get these movements down? It's just hilarious.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): It's rough. On the one hand, I really want to support something that says "Stand up to authority and be aware of manipulation", but this is coming from an authoritative company that is manipulating you, and it's doing a really bad job hiding it. And it's corny, and it's silly, and it's forceful, and none of it makes sense at all. I guess I would probably put this in the Camp Rock group where it's just so ridiculous and dumb that it's kind of funny. I can't think of any particular bad messages being said, at least, if I don't think too hard about them. I get the feeling the actors are trying to get across something genuine, but it just never feels that way. You're always aware of the Disney stamp, you're always aware that it's a Disney Channel movie, and you're always aware it's trying to sell you this group, not start a movement. It's pretty lame, but I had a few chuckles at how lame it was. If this is something that really inspired you and helped you start a movement, good for you. Go fight the man. But if you're a kid searching for artistic integrity, you're probably gonna get more laughs that provoking thoughts.
(The film's final scene, showing Lemonade Mouth finishing their performance, is shown)