Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) is the tween girl’s answer to Batman. For those who don’t know, during the day she is normal high school kid Miley Stewart (also Cyrus), then at night she dons a blonde wig, changes into micro minis and Lycra, and becomes international pop sensation Hannah Montana! No one ever seems to notice the resemblance.
Having never watched the Disney Channel show on which this movie is based, it didn’t occur to me that the mere thought of unmasking the real Hannah would be a cause for tween panic. I actually figured that a happy ending to the Hannah Montana series would be if the two sides of Hannah could somehow reconcile. (I mean, the show can’t go on much longer, right? Cyrus is already 16 going on 35.) Wouldn’t it be great—less stress for character and viewers alike—if she could be, I dunno, Miley Montana? Hannah Stewart?
Well, apparently not. Because at one point towards the end of Hannah Montana: The Movie, our plucky heroine runs the risk of being exposed—a tenacious British tabloid reporter has figured out her secret identity and has threatened to go public—and my (mostly tween and pre-tween) audience had a cow. “No!” they screamed in unison. On screen, Miley/Hannah herself seemed relieved to have the whole charade be over with until a cherubic little girl looked up at her de-wigged superstar and, voice quivering, said, “Please be Hannah Montana.” Apparently, her power is in her hair.
Oh well, I guess it’s not for me to fully comprehend the magic of Hannah Montana. I do, more or less, get the appeal of this movie: Egged on by an ambitious publicist (Vanessa Williams), Miley Stewart gets too big for her britches and starts believing that she is Hannah. So her dad (real dad Billy Ray Cyrus, for those who missed the squicky Vanity Fair spread) sends her back home to Tennessee for a solid dose of home cookin’, bluegrass singin’ and family valuein’. There’s lots of singing, a hunky teen cowboy who falls for Miley, but not Hannah, and a whole lot of prat falls. Rest assured, if there is a roof to fall off, an alligator to get bitten by, a ladder to topple, a revolving door to get stuck in, or a muskrat to crawl up someone’s leg, it’ll happen in this movie.
Does Miley put back on the wig? Does she keep her dual identity alive? Put it this way, has anyone in Gotham city caught onto that whole Bruce Wayne/Batman thing yet?