For those who were paying attention Miley Cyrus displayed some capable acting chops in 2012’s LOL, holding her own opposite Demi Moore. After years of overexposure as Hannah Montana and more recently on gossip sites over things as frivolous as weight loss and haircuts (and the admittedly weightier issue of salvia smoking), it’s pretty easy to resort to pure snarkiness when discussing the former tween queen.
As it stands, Cyrus has developed into a hot as all get-out fox with a “nasty as I wanna be” attitude (gotta love those pics of her, um, servicing a phallic cake she got for her fiancé Liam Hemsworth). I don’t care what anyone says—I like this gal. For the time being, I’m willing to follow her lead—even when it takes me to middling fare like So Undercover.
Cyrus plays Molly, a young private investigator who works with her dad, Sam (Mike O’Malley). The father-daughter team, in action since Molly was 11, works relatively small-time cases like suspected infidelity. But when FBI agent Armon (Jeremy Piven) needs to send someone undercover to infiltrate a sorority, Molly hits the big time. She reluctantly accepts the assignment, mainly because her degenerate gambler father has racked up insurmountable debt. Her compensation will be enough to bail him out of trouble. So Molly becomes “Brooke” and, after a quick makeover, hits the campus. Suddenly she’s trying to maintain composure in a foreign environment while keeping tabs on Alex (Lauren McKnight), whose father is entangled with the Georgian mafia.
The major problem is, we’re supposed to buy that Molly would feel out of place in college. Sure, she missed out on “normal” adolescent life as an underage employee of her father’s, but nothing about Cyrus’ appearance or demeanor suggests that she wouldn’t fit in at a college dorm. Think of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality and the way she transformed from an uncouth FBI agent into a plausible beauty pageant contestant. Think of Anne Hathaway before her makeover in The Princess Diaries. I’m not blaming Cyrus, I just don’t think she was allowed enough opportunity to establish herself as an all-business PI prior to her installment in the college dorm.