I watched Raise Your Voice last night. There was a lot that was good about it. Though I often felt like the script let them down, the characters were great:
Terry: Hilary Duff always plays a 'nice girl', but in this they used that effectively as a negative. Trying too hard to BE nice, she was also a pushover, not getting angry even when she should have because she was always trying to preserve the 和 (avoid making waves). I also found her storyline very believeable - that her brother's death would make her feel like it was wrong for her to enjoy life or pursue her own happiness. The connection between lights (particularly spotlights) and her flashbacks to the car accident (headlights) was cinematically clever, too.
Jay: Fairly complex for this kind of movie. I liked the sense of development in the character and his compassion. Some of his lines (eg, every time he talked about his feelings about his music) were shocking though - cliched crap that came out of his mouth and then clanged on the floor like a dropped pot.
Robin: not a bad villain, and not as two-dimensional as you'd expect. Her storyline left me feeling like there was more to her that ended up on the cutting room floor - it was patchy, incomplete.
Kiwi & Sloane: coolest quirky side characters I've seen in ages. Not only is his music great (if you like it, you so need to see the movie One Perfect Day) but their love story is SO CUTE. The scene in the drumming room made me laugh out loud and wish it was me all at the same time.
Okay, having said all that...
I could forgive the bad script...just. But I could not (would not, Sam-I-Am) forgive the Hollywood ending. Here's this totally unreasonable father who was so hard-headed that his son had made immediate plans after graduation to take a job in another state and never come back, and his daughter had to lie to him to be able to enter a perfectly innocent summer music program. And then, after one (admittedly great) song, he is so overwhelmed with pride and emotion in his daughter's achievements that he's admitting he was wrong all along and saying she can probably come back next year. Cue the Disney music. GOOD GRIEF! I wanted to kick the TV.
So much cheese I'm feeling lactose intolerent. I think I need to go watch Fight Club.