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Film / Geek Charming

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"So maybe the truth didn't turn out to be a hard-hitting expose on popularity, but I don't care. I have a new friend. That's what really matters."

Geek Charming is a Disney Channel Original Movie starring Sarah Hyland and Matt Prokop, originating from the novel of the same name written by Robin Palmer.

Dylan is the most popular girl in school and couldn't want anything more! Well, aside from being crowned Blossom Queen at the Spring Formal. But she's unlucky enough to have an actual opponent, Nicole. She decides that she needs to find some sort of edge so she can pull ahead.

Josh is a film geek who wants to win the upcoming Film Festival, so he's looking for an interesting topic. After saving Dylan's purse, he has a great idea, make a movie about Popularity starring her. They strike a deal, Dylan thinking that this is exactly the edge she needs over Nicole.

What follows is an unconventional love story involving a lot of Conversational Troping.

Geek Charming stars the following, popular-in-school tropes:

  • Accidental Truth: When Josh and Dylan are caught having a moment with their respective crushes, Josh tries to cover the situation by lying that Dylan had something in her contact lens. The next morning, we see Dylan putting on glasses as she wakes up and going to the bathroom to put her contact lenses on her, one of which falls into the sink.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Surprisingly averted. Although Josh gets a Makeover and starts hanging out with the populars, he never becomes a jerkass. In fact, his geek friends actually act more like Jerkasses about it at first before they become more accepting later on.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the book, Steve turns out to be a False Friend who was only using Josh's documentary project as a way of making something that would get him recognition, at one point even editing Josh's footage to make a version that he thinks people would like better. The movie omits this entirely and Steve's only crime is breaking things off with Josh along with his other two friends when they grow envious of his position with Dylan, but all of them get over it and stay Josh's friends in the end.
  • An Aesop: Popularity means more than just dressing the right way or hanging out with the right people. It means having actual friends you can count on.
  • The Alleged Car: Josh's car can barely hold itself together, let alone run.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In the beginning: Josh likes Amy, Caitlin likes Josh, and Steven likes Caitlin. Also Dylan to the very toxic Asher.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Dylan.
  • Almost Kiss: An odd twist on the theme. After the dramatic kiss that upgraded them to Official Couple, they almost kiss right at the end. He stops, looks at the camera, and covers up the lens to kiss her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Dylan. Nicole as well. Suffice it to say that two Alpha Bitches competing against each other is not a pretty sight.
  • Domestic Abuser: Asher is a toxic boyfriend to Dylan because of his narcissistic tendencies, overall unpleasant attitude, and the fact he only "loves" her for her looks.
  • Big Fancy House: Dylan's mansion. Josh is fascinated by it when he drives her back home.
    Josh: Home's big.
    Dylan: Real inviting, right?
  • Bland-Name Product: Serge Sanchez, the designer who makes a lot of Dylan's clothing and even a fragrance for men.
  • Blind Without Them: Dylan usually wears contacts, but when she loses them, she has to pull out her glasses. She tries to go without them, but that doesn't work well.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Ari.
  • Bowdlerization: The original book had references to underage partying and sex. An example of this includes Josh and Dylan sneaking into a college frat party, where Dylan later gets drunk. Naturally, since this was a Disney movie, they were written out of script.
  • Broken Aesop: In the book, a point of the story is that you can't have a relationship with someone based on just appearances if you don't really know the person you're with (ie: Dylan and Asher). Yet Josh has a crush on Amy based only on what he perceives her to be even though he barely knows her, and it just turns out that everything he thinks about her is true when he gets together with her at the very end. This is probably why the movie made Josh and Dylan the Official Couple instead.
  • Burping Contest: Josh Dylan and Dylan's father have a burping contest which Dylan wins.
  • Canon Foreigner: Caitlin, who isn't in the original book.
  • Confession Cam: In the movie, the scenes would sometimes cut into the character's confession cam.
  • Conversational Troping: Dylan and Josh do this a lot.
  • Cool Car: The Dylish mobile.
  • Closet Geek: Dylan has hidden smarts.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: When Dylan's father meets Josh, he confides in him that he never liked his daughter dating the toxic Asher and became happy when thinking he was her new boyfriend.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The History teacher will repeat a phrase at least three times.
  • Disappeared Dad: Josh's parents are divorced.
  • Disneyfication: See Bowdlerization above. Also, the relationship between the two leads is altered to be more in-line with DCOM expectations.
  • Dissonant Serenity: After Dylan chases after Asher for thinking she kissed Josh, she does this to throw off her friends.
  • Disposable Woman: The populars treat Dylan like this.
  • The Ditz: Lola.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Dylan and Asher are mentioned in passing in Robin Palmer's first book, Cindy Ella (which takes place in the same high school)
  • Extreme Doormat: Dylan when it comes to Asher. Even her two friends know this and state as much to Josh early on in the film, remarking that the main reason why Asher dates Dylan is that he likes to be worshipped.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Josh and Dylan. They even become a couple, just like they are in real life!
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Inverted. Instead of a parent pushing her lifestyle on Dylan, it's Dylan's deepest desire to be Blossom Queen like her Missing Mom. Of course, given that her Mom is dead, we never to get to hear her opinion on that, but one would assume she would only want her daughter to be happy.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Amy to Dylan. Unlike a lot of examples of this trope, Amy bears no resentment towards Dylan for ditching her in favor of popularity and in fact, never stopped seeing her as a friend.
  • Freudian Excuse: Dylan wants to win Blossom Queen because her mother did. Averted with Josh, who seems okay with his parents divorce.
  • Geek: Film geeks. Both the protagonists, yes, Dylan too. Josh's Clique and even Dylan's dad.
  • Geek Physiques: Josh is very tall and gangly.
  • Geeky Analogy: A lot of the film society's dialogue.
  • Girl Posse: Hannah and Lola for Dylan, bonus points for their names rhyming.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Kind of the point of the story.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: So Asher, Hannah, and Lola think when they eventually see Dylan with them on.
  • Granola Girl: Amy, although in contrast to the typical portrayal of this trope, she is played as very reasonable and down to earth.
  • Gratuitous French: Dylan and her Girl Posse use French words regularly for no reason at all (probably to look cool).
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Dylan on Josh.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blonde-haired Amy is one of the most kind-hearted and wholesome members of the cast. She even completely forgave Dylan for ditching her in middle school, without any attempt on Dylan's part to make amends.
  • Hidden Depths: Dylan is secretly really smart.
  • High-School Dance: The Spring Formal Where they crown Blossom Queen.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Asher and Dylan, it doesn't work out.
  • Humiliation Conga: The first part of the movie comes off as this for Dylan, causing her storm out while the people around her laughed at her. Too bad she didn't stick around for the rest, because he actually painted her in a really positive light.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: Dylan's way of bonding with Josh.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Even though Dylan seems to be attracted to Josh, she's genuinely supportive of his feelings for Amy. This may be because she blames herself for the end of her friendship with Amy.
    • Caitlin seems to feel this way about Josh after watching his movie.
    • Also Amy who declines Josh's invitation to go with him at the dance, as she knows that while he never dated Dylan, he secretly wants to.
  • Jerk Jock: The volleyball team and by extension, Asher.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Josh is carrying Dylan, he is about to call her a bitch. Instead, he calls her a diva. Multiple times. Dylan's reaction really brings it home that he was about to say something a lot worse than just "diva".
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Dylan. Her mom is dead and her dad is almost never home.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Dylan, of course. The story revolves around Dylan learning to show her more lovable side openly.
  • Love Triangle: It starts of as Caitlin -> Josh -> Amy.
  • Makeover Montage: Josh gets subjected to one, in a rare male version.
  • The Mall: Owned by Dylan's father, where Dylan's designer purse accidentally falls into its fountain and Josh saves it, leading to them making a movie together. Josh also works at a mobile phone store there.
  • Meaningful Name: Averted with Dylan.
  • The Mentor: Josh's Film Studies teacher to Josh.
  • Missing Mom: Dylan's mom passed away when she was a kid. Dylan's main motivation for winning Blossom Queen is because her mother was Blossom Queen.
  • Nerd Action Hero: Josh, when he saves Dylan's purse from the fountain.
  • Nerd Glasses: Dylan has a pair, but typically wears contacts. When she oversleeps and is unable to get her contacts in on time, she goes to school without them, being unable to bear having the student body see her in glasses. Unfortunately, she's Blind Without 'Em.
  • One Head Taller: Josh and Dylan.
  • Pair the Spares: Caitlin and Steven; Amy and Ari. In the book, Hannah and Ari; Lola and Steven.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In addition to the Bowdlerization the movie ends differently than the book: Originally, the story ends with Josh dating Amy and Dylan getting completely kicked out of the popular group but learning to live with it.
  • Preppy Name: Asher, Dylan.
    Mell Shoenfield: What kind of name is Asher?
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Dylan. In the book, it takes the entire story for Josh to ask out Amy and they end up very happy together, while Dylan ends up with some other guy.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Josh.
  • The Rival: Nicole, for Dylan.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Josh's mom originally thinks that Dylan is a guy.
  • Sequel Hook: Played with, Josh brings it up but Dylan shoots him down since sequels are never as good as the original.
  • Sequelitis: Discussed in-universe.
    Josh: So, I'm thinking sequel?
    Dylan: Sequels are never as good as the original. Everyone knows that.
  • Shout-Out: Dylan's best friends, named Hannah and Lola.
  • Shown Their Work: So. Many. Classical. Movie. References.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Caitlin is kind of weirded out by this trope being broken when Dylan starts hanging out with Josh and his friends.
    Caitlin: ....I'm supposed to be the only girl.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers made it out to be a more... conventional story with Nicole playing a bigger part.
  • Tomboyish Name: The female protagonist is named "Dylan". She doesn't act all that tomboyish though.
  • Truth in Television: Dylan's speech about popularity and expectation.
  • Totally Radical: Dylan's... Dylanisms, they start to rub off on Josh after a while.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Dylan, Hannah and Lola. Dylan treats show shopping like a olympic sport.
  • Valley Girl: Dylan and the other "populars".
  • We Used to Be Friends: Amy says this to Dylan when Dylan calls her a stranger.
  • Wild Teen Party: Asher throws one near the middle of the movie.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Brought up in a discussion about Flight of the Navigator.