A 2009 teen musical dramedy, music nerd and David Bowie fan Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) moves to New Jersey, eager to start fresh since he was bullied back at his old school in Ohio. Once there, he meets Sa5m note (Vanessa Hudgens), and Charlotte (Alyson Michalka), a former cheerleader who, impressed by Will's knowledge of music, takes him on as the manager of her band (later called "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On") as she tries to defeat her ex-boyfriend, Ben Wheatley, in a music competition known as Bandslam.It is a good movie, despite a questionable marketing strategy on the part of Summit Entertaiment, its distributor.
This film provides examples of:
- Alpha Bitch: Averted in that a male competitor in the school starts giving orders to his buddies to ruin Will, but the Alpha's friends, appalled by his intentions, outright refuse, noting that he has no authority over them.
- Chekhov's Gun: The video Sa5m singing that her mother shows Will.
- Decoy Protagonist: After Charlotte's father dies, Will learns that she started liking "outcasts" like him as an effort to change herself because her father disapproved of how she was when she was with Ben. Once he became ill, she changed in the hopes that her good behavior would cause her father to get better. After this, she quits the band. Despite the revelation that Charlotte didn't sincerely like them, the band continues on without her, enlisting Sa5m as the new lead singer. The band does forgive Charlotte later on.
- Emotionless Girl: Sa5m
- Fake Band: Enforced by I Can't Go On, I'll Go On and Ben Wheatley and the Glory Dogs, but averted with bands The Daze, ZEALE Rapz and Phranchyze, and The Burning Hotels. note
- Genre Savvy: "It's not like you're the Joker and we're your henchmen."
- High School
- Old Shame: Will was called "Dewey" back in Ohio because his father is in jail for accidentally killing a child driving while intoxicated (DWI). Ben eventually finds out about this and uses it against Will.
- Sa5m used to stutter.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On.
- Serious Business: Bandslam is "Texas high school football big" in New Jersey
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Sa5m is a Type 2 of this.
- Talent Contest: Bandslam