This movie is great from beginning to end.
Hilary Duff shines at her very brightest in this outstanding motion picture. Her acting is her best yet, and her singing is top-notch. She brings the house down with "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Jericho," and her hit single "Fly." She doesn't disappoint her fans and is sure to win over nearly every viewer of this movie.
The supporting cast is great. John Corbett is excellent as always as Hilary's teacher. Oliver James who previously starred in "What a Girl Wants" gets a better role and handles it like a pro. I had never seen Jason Ritter before, but I will be looking for his movies from now on. His portrayal of Hilary's brother is truly great!
The story is actually quite dramatic. This should not be classified with "Duff Fluff." The basic story is about a girl who has a tragedy in her life and tries to come to grips with it while attending a summer music program. The story is a lot more detailed than that, but I don't want to include any spoilers. It sounds corny, but it comes off as very believable and genuine. There are light moments too, but the overall feel is that of a drama.
So, if it has a luminous star, cool music, great support, and a truly above-average story, why do so many people hate it? There are two main reasons.
The first is the star. Hilary Duff has a lot of people who hate her. A quick search of the internet reveals dozens of sights bashing her in the crudest terms. I have heard nearly every interview she has ever done and several other interviews where other people talked about her. She is always cheerful and sweet. So, why the bashing? BECAUSE SHE ISN'T A TRAMP! Every performance she has given (and I've just about seen them all) has been completely clean. Her music videos are absolutely the cleanest on MTV in the past decade. A lot of people want tramps. That is why another former Disney star whom we all know has put out a video lately that's going to give Britney a run for her money. I, for one, don't think an actress should be hated because she ISN'T a tramp.
The other reason is very similar. The movie itself is very clean. The PG rating turns a lot of people off. Aside from one scene involving teenage drinking, this movie is very clean and has a positive message on dealing with grief. There is no sex, no violence, and only a little very mild language. I'm not saying that any movie that's PG-13 or R is trash; I'm just saying that there is no reason to skip a great movie just because it's clean.
Overall, this movie is a fantastic experience for everyone over about 10 or so. (I only say this because there are some "Thematic Elements" that might bother small children.) So, bring your family and watch "Raise Your Voice." It's very possibly the best movie of the year.
ACTING 10/10 STORY 10/10 MUSIC 10/10
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