Raise Your Voice isn’t a Disney movie, but it could have been. It is the story of Terri Fletcher finding her voice. It begins with a happy teen, Terri (Hilary Duff), and her older brother Paul (Jason Ritter). Unlike most teen siblings I’ve come across, they get along famously. Terri and Paul sneak out to go to a concert and are in a car wreck on the way home. Paul dies and Terri doesn’t want to ever sing again. The problem with that is Paul sent in a DVD to a prestigious summer music program as his sister’s application and she was accepted. From there you can guess the rest; Terri makes new friends, discovers new love, and once again finds her voice.
For those looking for a wholesome movie, Raise Your Voice definitely fits the bill. Hilary Duff’s Terri sings in the church choir, listens to Christian music, and finds solace in going to church. Those who find Duff attractive will find lots of shots of her in tight tank tops. And those who enjoy the feel-good movies that could be on Disney Channel or Lifetime will enjoy the message.
That being said, Raise Your Voice is a bunch of clichés thrown together in an attempt to be a modern day Fame but failing. The script is lacking, the acting isn’t great, and the music isn’t exactly compelling. Though to be perfectly honest, pointing out all the ways the film fails to soar is sort of like beating a dead horse. But to be fair, it is only a PG-rated film. The thing I found most distracting was the presence of a lot of “pretty shots” that really didn’t add anything but time.
The Special Features on the DVD include five deleted scenes, a reel of outtakes, a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie, an orchestra sequence showing clips from the movie and the recording of the score, a music video for Hilary Duff’s “Fly”, an interactive jam where you make your own music, the theatrical trailer, and previews for other New Line releases. In addition to that material, the DVD has features and web links accessible on your computer running Microsoft Windows. I don’t have a PC, so I am not sure what those materials might be.
The DVD itself is dual-sided with Widescreen or Full Screen versions of the movie on either side. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 in English with options for English or Spanish subtitles.
Overall, the movie isn’t one I’d rush out to buy but it is 107 minutes of harmless entertainment the family can watch together.