Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cinema Saturday [Frenemies]

January 13, 2012 premiere (US) on Disney; May 2012 (UK)
Based on novel by Alexa Young
IMDb/Wikipedia/Disney page

The Disney Channel Original Movie Frenemies is based on the novel - of the same name - by Alexa Young. The movie, which premiered last night (it re-airs today and tomorrow as well) is quite a bit different from the middle grade novel.

While the book was about Halley and Avalon  and their besties to frenemies and back relationship (my review is here), the movie focuses on three relationships that do the same. The tree pairs of friends are: Jake Logan (Nick Robinson) and his dog Murray (Winston), Savannah and Emma (both played by Mary Mouser from Body of Proof); Avalon and Halley (Bella Thorne and Zendaya from Shake It Up).

All of the characters go to school together and live in the same town so viewers are able to see characters the story isn't focused on. A bit like the movie Valentine's Day where the characters' lives intersect in little ways.

We start with Jake and Murray. The two do everything together, Murray wakes Jake up every morning, the eat breakfast together and Murray walks partway to school with Jake. Until a girl comes between them. It seems a little strange having one of the 'besties' be a dog but he's such an adorable dog - and really talented, too so it's almost impossible not to sympathize with him. (I do think it's hard to like Jake after he gets that angry with his dog, though.)

Then we get Halley and Avalon. We saw them - and their GeeklyChic webzine - a bit in the beginning and during Jake and Murray's story but now things are focused on them. The two love their GeeklyChic website (this is similar to the book) and, of course, want it to be bigger and more popular. When an opportunity presents itself, they think they've finally achieved their dream . . . until it becomes clear it can't be for both of them.

Savannah meets Emma in the mall - a girl who looks exactly like her - whom she's never seen before (British sounding Emma attends a private school) and a bit of a a "Parent Trap" moment occurs. Avalon and Halley - who neither girl knows - appear in this story as they were at the mall when the two met. Jake is also a part as Savannah has a crush on Jake. Their frenemie bit is . . . uhm, not that evident.

Frenemies was missing the cuteness and humor that a lot of Disney/other tween shows (Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Luck Charlie, Victorious, iCarly) have. It lacked the extremes (possibly because such a lavish  life for the two main characters wouldn't go over well right now) that made Frenemies so enjoyable.

It might have been a movie that just didn't translate to to anyone past the targeted age range . . . I'll have to look for some other reviews - and stick with the other Disney shows I do really enjoy. The dog is mega adorable, though!

Check your listings for the upcoming airings of Frenemies.

Frenemies the book seems to be unavailable (in print) on Amazon, but the second book Faketastic is available as a bargain book.


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