Raise Your Voice
4 out of 10
6 out of 10
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Hilary Duff as Terri Fletcher
Oliver James as Jay Corgan
David Keith as Simon Fletcher
Dana Davis as Denise Gilmore
Johnny Lewis as Engelbert 'Kiwi' Wilson
Rita Wilson as Frances Fletcher
Lauren C. Mayhew as Robin Childers
Kat Dennings as Sloane
Jason Ritter as Paul Fletcher
Rebecca De Mornay as Aunt Nina
John Corbett as Mr. Torvald
Carly Reeves as Kelly
James Avery as Mr. Gantry
Robert Trebor as Mr. Wesson
Steven T. Palmer as Street Drummer
Deleted Scenes With Option Director Commentary
Behind the Scenes Featurette
Hilary Duff's "Fly" Music Video
Interactive Jam: Compose your own song and get critiqued by a professor
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 107 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
"Hilary Duff stars as Terri, a small town girl with the voice of a big-time singer. Following her dreams, she heads to L.A. for the summer at a famous music school. Life in the big city is full of surprises, but with the help of some cool friends, an encouraging teacher, and a super cute boy, this All-American girl will have the time of her life. The stars will shine brightly, as she sings her heart out for the whole world to hear!"
Raise Your Voice is rated PG for thematic elements and language.
Let's face facts – this movie is made for teenage girls and, last time I checked, I don't fall within that target audience. The movie credits even start saying it's a "Chick Flick Production". And sure enough, I didn't like this movie. It focuses way too much on teen romance, pop music, and Hilary Duff to engage me. That being said, it had a few redeeming qualities that set it apart from standard teen fare.
"Raise Your Voice" is essentially a re-imagining of "Fame". Most teens have never seen "Fame", so they don't have a clue that there's something better out there. This will probably seem fresh and unique to them. In any case, it's a perfect environment for a lot of music, and that's a strong point of the movie. It features a wide variety of types of music and styles. There's classical, rock, religious, rap, pop, and more. It all returns to Hilary Duff's style of fluff pop as you would expect, but the variety makes the ride a little more interesting. They go through enough styles that there's probably something that will appeal to your tastes.
The other notable thing about "Raise Your Voice" is the strong supporting cast. You have recognizable faces like David Keith (playing a rare "good guy" role), Rita Wilson, John Corbett (Northern Exposure), Rebecca De Mornay, and James Avery (Fresh Prince of Bel Air). This film also features Jason Ritter, the son of John Ritter. Together they help elevate the acting in the film and make Hilary Duff look good. Hilary is good enough in the role, but she's so sugary sweet and squeaky clean that she's a little hard to take.
I think "Raise Your Voice" will by thoroughly enjoyed by teen girls and Hilary Duff fans. And if you liked "Fame" you might find "Raise Your Voice" worth giving a chance. Everyone else should steer clear of this one.
Here are the highlights of the bonus features:
Deleted Scenes – There are five deleted scenes included on this DVD and they are fairly short. One scene shows Terri doing more to trick her father over the phone with her aunt. Another scene shows her and her friends helping her roommate pack up her violin after a street performance. Another scene shows Terri following Jay to a street performance by him and some other students. As you can see, these were mostly trimmed for time and they aren't essential to the plot.
Behind the Scenes Featurette – This is your standard "making of" video. It certainly sounds like Duff and the rest of the cast had a blast making the movie.
Hilary Duff's "Fly" Music Video – This is your standard forgettable pop music video. I'm just amazed that Hilary Duff could perform in front of as big a crowd as is in the video. Is it CGI?
Interactive Jam: Compose your own song and get critiqued by a professor – With this feature you can select a number of instruments and have them play a piece together. At the end a little generic critique is popped up. It's a fun gimmick, but not worth revisiting more than once.
Outtakes – This is your standard outtake reel featuring flubbed lines, tripping actors, and playing around in front of the camera. No wardrobe malfunctions, though.
The Bottom Line:
"Raise Your Voice" is a "Fame" rehash that will appeal to young teen girls and Hilary Duff fans.