On the very first page of Facebook bumper stickers are several pictures of the sexy southerner Lucas Till with sayings like, “The reason why I went to the Hannah Montana movie,” and, “Screw Miley — I spent $10 for this,” proving not just eight-year-olds went to see “Hannah Montana: The Movie” this past weekend. While “Hannah Montana: The Movie” includes Till’s good looks, humor, drama, singing and beautiful scenery, the ending will leave many movie watchers creating similar bumper stickers.
Miley Stewart lives a double life as a normal teenager and also that of a singing superstar, Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus, “Bolt”). She has become a spoiled teen who doesn’t value her family enough to say goodbye to her brother before he leaves for college, can’t remember her grandma’s birthday and arrives late to her best friend’s sweet 16. Because of this, as well as an intense battle over a pair of stylish high heels with Tyra Banks, Miley’s father, Robby (Billy Ray Cyrus, “Radical Jack”), tricks Miley into going back home to Tennesse to remind her of who she really is.
Before Miley has even stepped into her grandma’s house, she is reunited with Travis Brody (Lucas Till, “Walk the Line”), an old friend with perfectly blonde hair and a gorgeous smile, who tells her he used to have a crush on her back in kindergarten, but has moved on. Throughout most of the movie, Miley proves to be a selfish brat, hating Tennesse and is solely focused on going back to being Hannah Montana. However, several events unfold which make Miley realize being Hannah Montana may not be the most important thing in her life.
Miley Cyrus’ performance is surprisingly good and believable. In one particular scene, Miley is running back and forth between a date and a benefit dinner when everything slowly starts to fall apart. She is deeply hurt by her breakup with Travis and runs up the stairs to her father, crying very emotionally with mascara running down her cheeks. She then overhears her father sacrificing his relationship with his love interest Lorelei (Melora Hardin, “27 Dresses”) to keep Miley’s double life a secret. This creates more tears in a touching moment for the audience.
But with any traditional Disney movie comes predictability and unrealistic story elements. For example, it is clear from the beginning what will occur between the various love interests in the movie. Obviously, Miley will grow out of her self-centeredness after living in Tennessee.
However being a Disney movie, it gives good life lessons for the teenage girls in the audience: The boy of your dreams will like you for who you are and not someone you pretend to be, always remember where you come from, family comes first and never fight with Tyra Banks over shoes. She will always win.
While the movie sticks to the untouchable Disney formula of morals, humor and songs, the last 15 minutes prevents a higher rating for the film. Another season of Hannah Montana is scheduled to start, so the outcome of the movie makes sense in order to keep the show going, but may leave audience members angry. Miley Stewart has the best of both worlds, but the audience may not think so after the credits start rolling.
3 stars out of 5.