Making the Grades
Rich and spoiled sisters, Taylor and Courtney Callum (played by actual sisters Aly and A.J. Michalka), are happily oblivious to the realities of life. Freely spending their daddy's (Jack Coleman) hard earned money, the blithe blondes have learned to bat their heavily-mascaraed lashes to get whatever they want, and artfully apologize whenever their selfishness comes under condemnation.
Although their father voices his frustration at having to pick up the tab and patch up the frequent thoughtless mistakes, an expensive mishap in the kitchen proves to be the last straw. Demanding the girls learn some responsibility, he arranges to have his daughters take a summer job at his milk processing plant.
Coincidentally, the duo's first day of work is also the day Mr. Callum is scheduled to fly out on a long overdue vacation, so he leaves the incapable pair in the hands of his business partner (Michael Rhoades). Neither he, nor the rest of the staff at the factory are all that pleased at being asked to babysit the pampered princesses. Their worst fears are confirmed when they assign the girls to work on the assembly line and their "help" slows down production.
However, the pair's bumbling soon proves to be the least of the company's concerns. Shortly after the boss's holiday departure (to a destination out of cell phone reach) a string of unfortunate events, including some missing funds, puts the family business and the teens' lifestyle at risk of financial ruin. With the cash cow run dry, it is up to the dairy queens to save the day. But do they have the compassion to make the necessary sacrifices required to keep things afloat until their father returns?
Originally made as a feature movie for the Disney Channel, Cow Belles requires the audience to believe the situation really can work as a wake-up call for the self-centered sisters. While older and more cynical viewers may have a hard time buying their reformation, at least they will not have to worry about any other objectionable content. The storyline steers clear of everything except some handholding and brief kisses with inevitable love interests, as well as some slapstick antics and name-calling. The sentimental script is clearly aimed at the female 'tween crowd, and is certain to satisfy them and anyone else with an appreciation for a little cheese.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Cow Belles.
At one point in the movie, the girls reflect upon their deceased mother and the qualities she possessed that made the family business so successful. What do they identify as her most important character trait? How did it help her work with other people? Do you feel the girls learn to follow her example?
What do you think are the positive and negative affects of having money? What are the pros and cons of having less? Can a person choose how they will react to either situation?
Besides acting, Aly and A.J. (who play Taylor and Courtney) have also recorded some music together. A couple of their music videos are included on the DVD version of Cow Belles.