4.9/10
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17 user 4 critic

The American Mall (2008)

A musical romantic comedy set at a mall and focused on the relationship between two young musicians and their respective personal and professional struggles.

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(teleplay), (story) (as Tomas Romero) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Yassmin Alers ...
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Dori
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Mia
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Storyline

A musical romantic comedy set at a mall and focused on the relationship between two young musicians and their respective personal and professional struggles.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love and Dreams Are Not for Sale


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Details

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Release Date:

11 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Mall  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nina Dobrev is now on The Vampire Diaries See more »

Connections

References Hello Kitty and Friends (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Hold Back
Written & Produced by David Lawrence & Faye Greenberg
Performed by the American Mall Cast
AFMO Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
Charming in its honesty and humility; Dobrev, Reeser and Mayes do it right
21 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though comparisons to "High School Musical" are inevitable, the charm of "The American Mall" is in its contrasts. TAM has a more honest and humble foundation for its story, and doesn't over-promise anything. And that's good.

The musical numbers aren't intended to blow you out the door like HSM, but instead are outward expressions of inner battles. Even though fantastical, the numbers reflect feelings and emotions more creatively and genuinely than HSM.

Focusing on the actors, Nina Dobrev's eyes are amazing in their subtle expressions. During an early duet, Dobrev (as Ally) hints at joy, thrill, uncertainty, wild abandon, and fear as her character wrestles with the bombardment of feeling. It's heartbreaking, soaring, and perfectly done. Later, during a terrific fantasy scene, Dobrev burns off the character's restraints to reveal one seriously intense individual. Dobrev's expressiveness combined with excellent songs and sharp choreography give TAM a solid foundation.

In a welcome contrast to Disney's formula of lightweight antagonists, the character of Madison, played to perfection by Autumn Reeser, is one mean young lady, who has no reservations about stepping on anyone to get what she wants. Autumn gives this shallow character quite a bit of depth, though, in a way that sets up a climactic scene that is surprising in its power.

Rob Mayes brings a sense of reality to the character of Joey the janitor. His character's imperfections, choices and their consequences are key drivers in the movie. Mayes' portrayal is nicely understated, and it reinforces the humble feel of the movie.

What TAM shares with HSM are solid songs that move the story along. While HSM has slicker choreography and production, TAM has better and more frequent bits of humor throughout, providing just the right balance of tone.

HSM tells viewers that no matter what stereotype you fit, you don't have to completely subscribe to that image...you can break loose and achieve superstardom, which equates to being able to sing, dance and act.

TAM meets viewers closer to the truth, that not every dream comes true, and that your character and conviction will be sorely tested in life, even by those closest to you. Try to persevere anyway.


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