This morning’s email brought me a link to Prince Gomovilas’ review of High School Musical 3, which he says is the gayest flick in the franchise. It’s almost enough to get me to reverse my curmudgeonly reaction of yesterday morning….or at least, it makes me look forward to the DVD release date, even if only to see whether I agree with Gomovilas’ analysis of the film’s queer allegory.
The gay allegory of the first two movies—the masculine jock “comes out” and embraces his love of theater—continues in this third installment, but on a grander scale. Troy Bolton (Efron), the high school basketball star, must choose between two colleges: his father’s alma mater, University of Albuquerque, where he will play hoops and be the manly man his dad expects him to be; or New York’s prestigious performing arts school, Julliard, where he will be able to revel in the fabulousness of singing and dancing to his heart’s content.
University of Albuquerque (a stand-in for heterosexual identity) represents a life that’s being thrust upon Troy against his will. “It’s hard to admit,” he pleads with his father. “U of A sort of chose me.” Later, he continues to struggle with what his dad (society) wants for him because it’s not necessarily what he wants for himself. He muses, “Maybe I don’t see my life as a ballgame anymore.” That’s because, frankly, he’s starting to see his life as a “balls” game.
At one point, Troy confides in his drama teacher, “I’m confused.” Indeed. Every young man who has ever struggled with his sexuality has needed someone as understanding as Ms. Darbus to nudge him in the right direction. Sensing Troy’s longing for outside approval, she says encouragingly, “The stage can be a wonderful partner in the process of self-discovery”—the theater once again being a stand-in for gay identity. (A character earlier even makes reference to a “theater fairy” that submitted Troy’s application to Julliard.)
I’m also swayed by the fact that a couple of my buddies from MagicMeets really liked it. Hmm. For the moment at least, it’s still not enough to get me out of the house to see a tween movie on my own, given tight schedules and lean pocketbook. But, hmmm. I wonder how long it’ll be in theatres.