This Todd Graff film suggests a year's worth of Degrassi plots squished into one overcomplicated bouillon cube. Here's the gist: music snob Will (Gaelan Connell) whips a rag-tag high-school rock group into shape for a cutthroat battle-of-the-bands competition while juggling the inexplicable advances of two hotties (Vanessa Hudgens and Alyson Michalka).
Filled with High School Musical–style tween appeal and High Fidelity–style name dropping, the movie is a creature that grew in the drip tray of the Disney Channel while mingling with syrupy splashover from MTV2. As such, it's an acutely culture-savvy beastie.
And yet it seems acutely unaware of how casually sick some of its themes are — like the scene where Will pimps out his mom (Lisa Kudrow) to a teenage pal, micro-managing her cleavage. Upshot: decent tunes, clever banter, grotesque morals.