Hannah Montana: The Movie

Hannah Montana: The Movie

Film review by: Witney Seibold


Miley Cyrus is a perfectly polite and talented young lady, and sings perfectly bland songs. Seeing as I am not an 11-year-old girl, I do not understand the direct appeal of her alter-ego Hannah Montana, or her first foray into the world of cinema, “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”

I wish I could give long-suffering parents an excuse not to take their little girls to see this film; give them some sort of concrete argument as to how Hannah Montana will damage the fragile mind of their younguns, but I’m here to report that, like most children’s entertainment, Hannah Montana is mediocre and typical and bland. It’s inoffensive and easy-to-digest. It has about as much brains as a Caboodles box full of neon pink mascara. This means that your children will not be harmed by it, and you’ll have to kind of suffer through it.

Kids like bland entertainment just like they like bland foods. I feel that kids deserve intelligent and thought-provoking entertainment just like adults do, but I understand that the bulk of children have been sadly browbeaten by the ultra-corporate Disney marketing machine to like a particular brand of bland. For those kids, “Hannah Montana: The Movie” will do just fine.

Based on the popular TV series, “HM:TM” follows a young lady named Miley Stewart (Cyrus) who is a typical, brown-haired high school freshman. Like Jem before her, though, she has a secret superheroine alter ego named Hannah Montana, the richest and most popular pop star in the world. Her disguise? A blonde wig. She even has a posse of best friends, also with alter-egos (including Emily Osment and Jason Earles).

When, as Hannah, Miley has a few inoffensive tabloid meltdowns (she gets into a brawl with Tyra Banks over a pair of shoes), and, because of said altercation, ruins her BFF’s sweet-16 party, Miley’s dad Robbie Ray Stewart (Miley’s real-life dad and real-life country star Billy Ray Cyrus) decides that she needs to be spirited away to her hometown in rural Tennesse in order to go through some “Hannah detox.”

These shoes cost 300 fucking dollars. Let's get 'em!

These shoes cost 300 fucking dollars. Let's get 'em!

Her small town in Tennessee is the cleanest town one can imagine; one almost suspects it was films in the Country/Western portion of Celebration, FL. The people are all honest, hard-workin’, down homey, simple country folk, who don’ understand all this here Hannah Mona-tana stuff, but can whip up a mean corn muffin, ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’. Miley is upset about having to spend time away from the big city, but sees a potential romance in the form of Travis Brody (Lucas Till), a perfectly adorable Aryan youth with a dazzling smile, and a tendency to thrust his hips in an unmistakably erotic way when he rides a horse.


This small town needs money to protect themselves from an evil mall developer (Barry Bostwick), so Miley hits upon the idea to bring Hannah there for a concert. Since her beau likes Miley but not Hannah, we’re treated to a horribly painful quick-change scene in which our heroine runs from one important date to the next, changing outfits along the way. Parents, these scenes will make you scream.

Eventually, Hannah must unmask herself to the world in order to “be honest with herself.” But she gets to have her cake and eat it too, as she’s still a pop star. The film features 12 songs, each as forgettable as the last. One is a duet with Miley and Billy Ray. Or Millie and Robby Rae, or whatever.

A few things: 1) The central theme of the film seems to be one of “be true to yourself,” when the show banks upon hidden identities, and the vicarious thrill of living a secret life. A bit ironic, I think. 2) If Hannah Montana is the richest teenager in the world, why does she need to throw a concert to raise money? Can’t she just buy out the developer? 3) The developer is seen as a bad guy, and his mall is seen as a evil development. Certainly there’s an irony in including an anti-corporate, anti-marketing-mall-hell message in a film that has, in itself, been polished, overmarketed and oversold by Disney, one of the globe’s biggest corporate squid entities.

I saw “Hannah Montana: The Movie” in an empty theater late at night with a group of friends who were drunk, stoned, or both. I recommend you see it the same way.

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. wow…really helpful post, thanks for sharing.

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