Ok. Let me explain. I never understood what Hannah Montana was, merely hated it from a distance because she was younger than me and smiles lots and seemed to be in that Disney gang of creepy Efron-bred performers. But then one weekend the Disney channel put on a 48-hour marathon of Hannah Montana, and this, combined with a post-alcohol state and the TV already being on the channel after my comrade’s obsession with creepy Efron-bred performers, meant I ended up watching several hours of Hannah Montana. After a while her goofy southern charm started to worm its way into my consciousness, and so it was only natural I would follow her to the cinema screens. In an entirely ironic way of course.
For those who know nothing of Montana, here is a quick overview. Miley Cirus, daughter of Billy Ray (the achey-breaky-heart chap) plays Miley Stewart, a normal girl who also happens to be a mega famous popstar called Hannah Montana. By the clever use of wigs, Miley can keep her normal life and her Hannah popstar life separate. This concept starts to get confusing when her real life dad also plays her on screen dad, called “Bobby Ray”. And the fictional Hannah Montana releases real-life CDs and goes on tour. And real life Miley also releases her own material and goes on tour. And in the film, fictional Miley ALSO creates her own material, which has ALSO been released. It’s as complex and fascinating as The Hills. Make of that what you will…
Anyway, the film deals with vast themes of identity and family. No, really. Montana gets too big for her boots so her daddy sends her back home to rediscover the real Miley. She falls in love with a cute cowboy, rides a horse and saves the town. Go Miley! Obviously this is Disney, and essentially a child’s film, so there’s also stuff like people getting cake on their faces, or non-fatal alligator attacks. Plus a host of songs, although thankfully they’re relatively short and don’t have much of a High School Musical dancey feel to them.
Now, only a month ago I purposefully watched a shit film (17 Again) and happily admitted to it. Montana is a different bag, though. It was actually rather emotional, good fun, made possible by the engaging Cirus, a rising star with already phenomenal success in tween land.
Yes, it was pretty clichéd, reasonably corny, a bit silly, childish… but hell, I enjoyed it anyway. Perhaps the sugar from my pick n’ mix regressed my brain back to being nine years old. Hopefully the damage won’t be permanent and I’ll be back to watching subtitled films in an empty cinema, guffawing at unfunny moments to show everyone how clever I am. For now, Hannah Montana is harmless fun with a star so frighteningly accomplished already that I fear a Britney backlash anytime soon. If 17 Again can do it, so can Miley, and her film also nabs a CF0.