Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Raise Your Voice

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Mild references to "bad" behavior, kissing taken seriously
Alcohol/Drugs:Teen gets drunk in response to stress, adult says she needs a drink in response to stress
Violence/Scariness:Tense family scenes, character killed in (non-graphic) car accident
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters, very respectful treatment of religious faith
Movie Release Date:2004

Squeaky-clean Hilary Duff’s latest movie plays like a cross between a Disney-fied music video and a script developed by girls playing with Barbies. So, it will please its target audience of tween girls while leaving parents relieved, if not entertained.

Duff plays 16-year-old Terri, a good girl whose loving older brother Paul (Jason Ritter) tells her not to be such a pleaser. He wants her to fight back when their over-protective father (David Keith) won’t let her go to the summer music program of her dreams. Even though Paul is grounded, he and Terri sneak out to go to a rock concert. On the way home, their car is hit by a drunk driver, and Paul is killed. Terri’s father becomes even more strict. When she is accepted into the program her mother (Rita Wilson) and aunt (Rebecca De Mornay) conspire to find a way for her enroll. Her father thinks she is visiting her aunt.

The program is more challenging than Terri could have imagined, filled with highly focused and very talented kids. But she makes some friends, especially a handsome composer (Oliver James, essentially reprising his perfect boyfriend with an English accent role from What a Girl Wants) and her violinist roommate, Denise (Dana Davis). It is a competitive group, especially when it comes to who gets the solo in the big choral performance and who will win that $10,000 scholarship at the end of the summer.

Duff has more hairdos than facial expressions, but the movie is designed around the one she has down pat, a sort of sweet, slightly abashed, “Gosh, can I really do this? Look how adorable it is that I don’t know I’m adorable” sort of look. It does not go well when she tries to go beyond her range, as when she has to learn that her brother has died or confront someone she thinks has betrayed her, and especially in one painful moment when she tries to act “street.” Similarly, the music is designed around her slight but sweet pop voice. If the studio-enhanced dubbing is a bit too obvious in the classroom scenes, it fits with the bubble-gumminess of the tunes and the story.

Parents should know that the movie includes the death of a major character in a drunk driving accident. This is powerfully, but not graphically depicted and may make the movie too much for under-10’s or even some sensitive under-12’s. An adult character responds to a stressful situation by saying, “I need a drink” and an underage character gets drunk when he is upset over a misunderstanding. There is some PG-level language. The movie makes it clear that Terri thinks carefully about whether she is ready to kiss a boy, even though it is someone she really cares about. Another girl makes a reference to being “bad” to get the boy she likes, but it does not work. Other strengths of the movie include loyalty and friendship among diverse characters and (very unusual in a mainstream film) respectful treatment of religious faith. It has a rare depiction of a young person going to church to get help during a painful time, handled in a low-key manner but making it clear that Terri’s faith is an important source of solace for her.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Terri’s father is so strict. Why was it easier for Paul to speak up than for Terri? What should Terri have done when her mother and aunt told her to lie to her father about where she was? What did Terri like best about the music program? How did her brother and her teacher give her a chance to see things within herself that she did not see before? Why didn’t Jay like Robin anymore?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Duff’s other films, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and A Cinderella Story. They might also enjoy comparing them to the original Gidget. Mature audiences will enjoy Fame a lively film about a high school for the performing arts.



Previous Posts

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.