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Ashley Tisdale as nerd girl

Picture This (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) — She’s blonde, she’s pretty and she can sing, hence Ashley Tisdale is everywhere. And she’s starring in her own movie (which she actually helped produce). She plays Mandy, a disheveled nerd girl who wears glasses and lives in the horrible part of town. (I don’t get this part at all, her dad is an architect and they live in a gorgeous, modern home. But this story is very LA and it seems extra gorgeous and extra rich is the gold standard.) About five minutes in, she gets contacts and a videophone from her doting dad and the cutest guy in school, Drew, pays her some attention. But what begins as a story about striving for popularity soon turns into almost a caper movie when Mandy gets grounded on the night of the big party and, using her phone and her two best friends (who are supposed to be unpopular geeks too, but they’re hot) whiz through an afternoon and evening of ever-progressing odd adventures, all the while lying to her dad. While she shows him fake video of the three of them studying, she’s shopping at the mall, getting her car towed and singing in a battle of the bands. Much of the drama is courtesy of the cliché mean popular girl, Lisa, who used to date Drew. The plot is a tad odd, and the story is full of inconsistencies. Drew is supposed to be really cool, but he starts making a play for Mandy while still dating Lisa. And there’s an unannounced prom scene that just shows up at the end that makes little sense. No reviewer would reward this DVD with numerous stars, but its star, Tisdale, is charming and she makes the movie watchable. Some tweens are just going to demand to see this anyway, so what can you do? But note that there is talk of sex and scenes of alcohol in the film