Isn’t it annoying when you’re just a girl trying to get through high school and the most popular kid in school is a tie between your dad and the fictional character he based a series of spy books around? Classic high schooler stuff for Melissa (Hannah Montana’s Emily Osment, proving she has a real knack for playing second fiddle to fictional characters within show universes). I totally get why she’s pissed at her dad. The dude’s always ignoring her for his creation Tripp Zoom (because this is AMERICA, your first name doesn’t have to make sense!) and the novels involving MacGyver levels of makeshift weaponry and zero female role models. Thanks for the progressive literature, pa! In the long run, Melissa’s decent analytical skills might make her a publisher or manager and earn her more money than her YA fiction dad, but that’s not really the route Disney go down. Instead, Melissa wants to go camping, but her dad has brought her to a Tripp Zoom convention en route. If you didn’t get that the dad wants nothing to do with his daughter, check out his excellent response when she asks why she isn’t in the books: “my characters are dynamic”. Dude, just call your books “I wish you’d been born a son” and bypass all the subtle disappointment! Melissa could’ve probably just chilled out when her dad is eventually “dadnapped” (who saw that coming??).  However, she finally gets to fulfil her needy purpose of proving herself the more valuable child (out of her and fictional character Tripp Zoom) by remembering the invisible ink qualities of watermelon lipgloss and ordering around lots of convention nerds.

The one upside to the film was that Haley Osment pulls the same disdainful faces as my friend Lucy so that felt comforting.
The one upside to the film was that Emily Osment pulls the same disdainful faces as my friend Lucy so that felt comforting.

An aside for the writers of Disney channel original movies: don’t bullshit me, you guys.  I watched HSM3 the other day (no shame) and you can write genuine teen characters with relatable feelings and believable dialogue. So why did I find myself inundated with “hip” “teeny-bopper” “cool cats”? They all have names like Wheeze (actual character) and Merv (actual character) and Cheesits (probably a character and a clever advertising ploy combined- I expect credit if Camp Rock 5 is all about Cheesits trying to find the music). I had to sit through lines like “This pizza is slammin’!” and “eat grape juice, loser!”. The last scene has Wheeze (again, an actual character) exclaim “READING ROCKS!” and I have no words. I’m not angry, just disappointed.

Dad rating: That guy showing everyone my baby pictures? Yeah, I’ve never seen him before in my life. (One star)