Review: THE AMERICAN MALL on MTV

The American Mall - Rob Mayes and Nina Dobrev

Since High School Musical 3 is not coming out until October 24, I am introducing you to the next best thing, MTV’s THE AMERICAN MALL, premiering tomorrow, Monday August 11, at 9pm on MTV.

The American Mall, from the executive producers of High School Musical, tells the story of Ally, a wannabe singer/songwriter, who works in her mom’s music shop at The American Mall (where the entire movie takes place), while waiting to pursue her dream. There she meets Joey, a wannabe rock star who works as a janitor to get enough money to buy instruments for his band. Sparks fly when these two meet, but the mall owner’s daughter, Madison, threatens their happiness when she sets her eyes on opening her new shop in place of Ally’s mom’s music shop. Of course let’s not forget that this whole story unfolds through musical numbers here and there. Yes, it’s a musical (which is probably why it appealed to me in the first place).

Some of the cast includes Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Ally, Rob Mayes as Joey, Autumn Reeser (The O.C.) as Madison Huxley, Yassmin Alers (Rent) as Erin, Ally’s mom, Al Sapienza (The Sopranos) as shopping mall owner and Madison’s dad, Max Huxley, Wade Allain-Marcus as Ricky, Neil Haskell (So You Think You Can Dance) as Drew, David Baum as Stavros, Brooke Lyons (American Dreams) as Dori, Blythe Auffarth (Veronica Mars) as Alexa, Bresha Webb (Lincoln Heights) as Little Penny, Bianca Collins (Unfabulous) as Mia and Rodney To as Ben.

Ok so now that I have seen it what do I think? Well, first of all let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. It’s not the best story ever told. In fact, there are lots of holes in the storyline, which I felt could have been explained in a better way, especially when they are supposed to create the crisis of the movie. And as far as the acting goes, I have definitely seen better. But the thing is, most people won’t watch The American Mall for the acting, but for the musical numbers, and so with that said let’s get to the good stuff.

The American Mall - Nina Dobrev

The musical numbers: I’m sold (ok it’s true I’m pretty easy when it comes to musicals, but still). I am already singing along to the songs (especially the second time I watched the movie, which by the way I cannot believe I already watched this twice) and have planned on buying the soundtrack when it’s released on Tuesday, August 12. And if the music numbers work in a musical, well that’s already half the battle. Finally, keep an eye out for my favorite song “A Little Bit Of Heart Somewhere” (I had to listen to that one a few times).

The cast: I really didn’t know many of the actors apart for Autumn Reeser (Taylor in The O.C.) and of course Neil Haskell from So You Think You Can Dance, so I actually found it quite refreshing. As far as Neil Haskell goes, I had pretty low expectations for him, but turns out he was one of my favorite things about the movie. Seriously, he is really funny, I found myself actually looking forward to his next line. I really want to see Altar Boyz now.

And speaking of So You Think You Can Dance, were they getting a package deal or something because I actually caught two additional dancers from this season, Gev Manoukian and Matt Dorame, during some of the dance numbers. It almost makes you wonder if Neil had anything to do with them trying out this season…

Anyway, enough rambling on, I really liked The American Mall, and if you are a fan of High School Musical (and all that cheesiness), then don’t miss The American Mall when it premieres tomorrow night, Monday August 11, at 9pm on MTV.

And if you miss the big night, don’t panic, The American Mall DVD (and soundtrack) will be released on August 12 (that’s right the next day), featuring tons of extra features including: an extended edition, deleted scenes, music videos – including a special number by the Janitors – and dance instructional with choreographer Bonnie Story for two musical numbers.

Buy The American Mall DVD and/or The American Mall Soundtrack

And now it’s time for some videos to get you excited for the premiere:

Check out the first 5 minutes of The American Mall below.

Watch Neil Haskell and the rest of the band “get their rock on.”

Watch Autum Reeser sing “The New You”

Watch Nina Dobrev sing “I’m a Survivor”

For more you can check The American Mall Official Website.