It’s been quite a while since we’ve done a Wide Screen, but I just saw High School Musical 2 (of course I did) and I figured we should talk about Martha. You might remember her as “fat chick who secretly loves hip hop dancing” from the first film, and her role (and those of several of the other secondary characters) has been greatly expanded here.
Character: Martha Cox, played by Kaycee Stroh
Credits: Basically, the High School Musical movies. According to Wikipedia, Kaycee is a 23-year-old dance instructor who ended up auditioning for the film along with her students.
Plot points: Martha is employed at a resort with the rest of the Wildcats. She dances around a lot. She doesn’t actually have a “storyline” per se.
Stereotypes: In her recap for the movie, Miss Alli says: “did they have to make the fat girl the cook? Jesus Christ. Camryn Manheim this, you assholes.” So, yeah. Her job is as a cook. And yet in the song “Work It Out” (see the link below) she is the first one to join in the dancing. Her love of hip-hop (and her talent as a dancer) is kind of an anti-fat girl stereotype. Six of one….
Sex/Romance/Attractiveness: It’s hard to say. If two people are paired off in the big dance number at the end, does that make them a couple? And if Martha is paired up with the clearly gay Ryan (Ryan and Chad are even wearing each other’s clothes at the end of one song) does that make her a fag hag?
Fat jokes: None. In the first film the “unexpected” combination of a fat girl who loves to dance might be considered as played for laughs. In the second film, it’s just an established part of her character.
Overall: I feel pretty positive about the character of Martha. I spent a lot of time watching her dancing in the background and she’s clearly a great dancer and it’s awesome that they decided to upgrade her role. It definitely adds a positive message to the film.
The bottom line: Martha’s role could be bigger (ha, ha), but she’s a good character.
Rating on the offense-o-meter (10 being Norbit): 2
But how’s the movie?: Incredibly cheesy. Did you even have to ask?
Bonus: There’s a bootleg version of her dancing around in her chef’s hat that (for now) can be seen right here. So did anyone else see this movie, or the first one? What did you think?
Posted by mo pie