Unwilling to compare herself with others or let the mirror dictate value, Lovato puts stock in her inner beauty (“Believe in Me”). The breakup tunes “Don’t Forget” and “On the Line” (featuring Jonas Brothers) don’t lash out or wallow in self-pity. Whether mobilizing friends to get up and dance (“Party”) or faithfully supporting a guy deemed a “Trainwreck,” Disney’s latest “it” girl remains bouncy and upbeat. She also won’t be changed by stardom or lose her individuality in the cookie-cutter world of Disn—, uh, “La La Land” (“I will stay the same in the La La Land machine”). A young couple draws strength from shared dreams when “Two Worlds Collide.”
It could be argued that dating a “Trainwreck” is unwise. Short on self-respect, a jilted girl repeatedly goads her ex, “Kiss me like you mean it” (“Get Back”). Similarly, “Until You’re Mine” reeks of desperation to fill an emotional vacancy with a boy. “The Middle” finds Lovato eager to score a ride with a cute guy, and willing to “crash” and “fall” for the thrill of it (“It’s better than nothing/… Losing my direction, that’s the way it should be”).
The plucky star of Disney’s Camp Rock refuses to play by others’ rules. At times, that’s good. Other times, it leads to poor judgment in the dating arena.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.