“Bandslam,” Summit Entertainment’s “High School Musical”/“Camp Rock” clone, is a movie about music and high school and guilt and fitting in. It’s surprisingly not awful for something this over-familiar.
Gaelan Connell stars as Will, a dweeb who is so into music that he narrates our tale through a series of unanswered fan letters to David Bowie. Will befriends Sa5m, the hip Goth chick (Vanessa Hudgens), but he lets his head be turned by the pushy Charlotte (Alyson Michalka). She has a band, and they need a manager. It’s all directed toward the big regional “Bandslam” battle of the bands, whose winner earns a record deal. The only characters fleshed out are the leads, and the conflict seems forced.
But the romantic yearnings work. There’s no edge, but if you’re young enough to not know the original version of “I Want You To Want Me,” “Bandslam” may have charms enough to tickle your tweenage heart.