Josh Bell


(1/2 star)

Stars: Hilary Duff, Oliver James, John Corbett

Director: Sean McNamara

Details: Opens Friday

Near the beginning of the awful new Hilary Duff vehicle, Raise Your Voice, Duff's Terri Fletcher buys her brother (Jason Ritter) concert tickets to celebrate his high school graduation. The two are excited to the point of near-convulsions at the prospect of seeing ... Three Days Grace. Yes, third-rate alt-rockers Three Days Grace are apparently the epitome of cool in this bizarre alternate universe.

Of course, that's only because the band's record label undoubtedly spent a ton of money to get them in the film. Raise Your Voice is a movie constructed with motivations like that, full of meaningless believe-in-yourself platitudes, self-consciously "quirky" characters who bear no resemblance to actual people, and dialogue that sounds like somebody's mom trying way too hard to appear hip.

Terri, perhaps inspired by the genius of Three Days Grace, heads to a prestigious music summer program in LA, where she meets cute Brit Jay (Oliver James), falls in love, gains confidence in her singing, improves her relationship with her parents, befriends her Sassy Black Roommate, cures cancer and achieves world peace. The movie is so laughably unrealistic that having Terri actually do those last two things wouldn't seem out of place. Effortlessly combining Duff's bad acting and bad singing with bad writing and bad direction, Raise Your Voice is an insulting waste of time that begs to be silenced.

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