There’s good reason that Disney
singer Selena Gomez is already a star: she
has a winsome kind of down-home, girl-next-door charisma.
,” she plays Grace, a high school student who’s been saving her pennies
from waitressing so she can go to
, and is looking forward to bringing her best friend with her.
But Dad throws her a curve by insisting that her older step-sister
(Leighton Meester) come along, and it’s obvious that they’ve never been
friends. Then the tour they signed up
for ridiculously has them literally running through the Louvre, waving at
the Arc De Triumphe, hurrying through the
, rushing through meals, and sleeping on cots.
When they accidentally get separated from the group, the whole thing
just feels like a complete disaster.
But that’s when things start looking
up. The cute girls are clearly
attracting the attention of handsome young men (imagine that), and then
Grace is mistaken for a British heiress and suddenly they’re all treated
OK, the whole put-on-the-British
accent thing as been done before (remember when Lindsey Lohan was a young
Disney star?), but Ms. Gomez does reasonably well with it, as well as with
the haughty attitude of the spoiled heiress.
(OK, it’s not completely consistent, but we get the idea.)
Her friends decide to “just go with it,” which gives them all
access to posh accommodations, media attention, a random polo contest, a
charity auction, and all manner of impossible deceptions, but it’s light
and airy and cute and harmless and nobody gets hurt.
There’s no foul language, nudity, sex, violence, explosions, or
chase scenes, and, of course, we have the obligatory fashion sessions and
Pygmalion-type dressing up for the Cinderella ball.
Obviously, we’re appealing to the little girls, but it’s at least
tolerable for the parents/grandparents who want to bring them.
And Selena Gomez, if she can avoid the
personal pitfalls of too much adulation too soon, just might become the rare
child star who turns into a real actress.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor,
United Presbyterian Church,