Movie News & Reviews

At least one grown-up is a fan of Ashley Tisdale

I love Ashley Tisdale.

Much like free-market capitalism and the works of James Joyce, High School Musical's Tisdale is a great polarizing force. While you adults bash the young lady, your kids (and, um, a doughy music critic) celebrate her moxie and spirit. Her second solo album, Guilty Pleasure, came out Tuesday. Her new movie, Aliens in the Attic, arrives Friday. That's a whole lot of Tiz coming at you this week. So here are five reasons why Tisdale, 24, is more than just another vapid Disney doll.

Tisdale is a bad singer. But here's the thing: Whether she's vamping as HSM's Sharpay "Fabulous" Evans or warbling her bubblicious pop, Tisdale is seldom over produced and monstrously pitch-tuned. Why? Because unlike, say, Vanessa Hudgens, Tisdale has a personality, and it's based on charming imperfection.

Tisdale is a good comedian. Her deliciously vain Sharpay was the saving grace of the HSM movies. And while gamboling on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody on the Disney Channel, she proved a slapstick star. I like a girl who can take a pie in the face.

Tisdale's grandfather, Arnold Morris, created the Ginsu knife craze. Oh please, don't even pretend that's not cool.

Tisdale is not sleazy. In a day and age when her Hollywood peers are getting caught on sex tapes or wrapping Ferraris around parking meters, we see Tisdale on TV and in magazines only when she wants us to. Sure, she did give a lap dance to an Obama impersonator, but it was funny and, more important, totally unconvincing.

Tisdale is pretty, but not that pretty. When the star went out and got herself a new schnoz, the rhino-response was vitriolic. But people were upset mainly because we already have enough perfecto Barbies out there. Tiz was cool because she had a giant beak. Although we miss her old honker, she's still unconventionally lovely, a little mousy, a little gangly, a decent message for kids who don't look like Brit-Brit. Of course, if she gets a boob job, she's dead to me.