Fame and Family Collide Predictably in Hannah Montana
- Friday, April 10, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: April 10, 2009
Run Time: 102 min.
Director: Andy Fickman
Actors: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment, Lucas Till, Vanessa Williams, Margo Martindale, Jason Earles, Melora Hardin, Taylor Swift
Even if you aren’t a ‘tween or teen girl (or the long-suffering parent of one), there’s still no escaping Hannah Montana— or hearing the latest scoop about Miley Cyrus, the singer/actress who portrays her.
Picking up the coveted “pop culture phenom of the moment” baton from Britney Spears, Hannah/Miley has ultimately provided a more positive role model for adoring young girls. But as Cyrus treads into that tricky territory that Britney so famously sang about in “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” her recent behavior has definitely caused a few raised eyebrows from the Miley faithful—and their parents.
First, there was the controversial photo shoot with Annie Leibowitz for Vanity Fair. Then a few more risqué pics surfaced of Cyrus and a pal that she was forced to defend in People. Even the guy she dates, particularly her current beau, Justin Gaston, a 20-year-old underwear model who’s four-plus years older than Cyrus, has become regular fodder for heated message board discussions.
Considering the way art seems to imitate Miley Cyrus’ life these days, the timing probably couldn’t be better for the big-screen treatment of Hannah Montana. Not only does it solidify Cyrus’ place as the ultimate good girl just wanting to do the right thing even with the paparazzi always hot on the trail, but Hannah is a character that Cyrus can play convincingly. Just as Cyrus herself is hoping to make a smooth transition from a major ‘tween and teen draw to a full-fledged Hollywood actress sooner rather than later, her characters Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana are also experiencing a bit of an identity crisis, too.
While Miley has always maintained she’s just a regular girl living her dreams of singing and acting vicariously through Hannah, Miley is having a little trouble keeping her two lives separate these days. With her celebrity schedule getting more cramped by the minute, Miley isn’t exactly winning points at home with her family or her best friend. And the pull of her Glamazon status is never more apparent than when she engages in a petty cat-fight with Tyra Banks (yes, the real Banks, in a thankless cameo) over a cute pair of stilettos.
After Miley effectively manages to ruin her best friend Lilly’s (Emily Osment) “Sweet 16” birthday bash and forgets about her brother’s (Jason Earles) send-off to college, her dad (played by Cyrus’ real-life father Billy Ray) decides it’s time to re-introduce his Beverly Hills diva-in-training to her simple country girl roots.
Of course, Miley wouldn’t have agreed to this voluntarily, so when she boards a private jet she thinks is bound for an appearance in New York City, she’s rather surprised to discover she’s in rural Tennessee once she deplanes. As if her truckload of sparkly luggage she lugs off the plane wasn’t enough to deliver the message that Miley has changed dramatically because of Hannah’s success, the writers also make sure her horse Blue Jeans doesn’t recognize her either.
Even her grandma (Margo Martindale) gets on Miley’s case as soon as she arrives home in a huff. And the theme of humbling the pretty girl, one that even Jane Austen enjoyed exploring in her novels, plays out perfectly.
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