Hannah Montana: The Movie 

Back in December, we Gazette reviewers were asked to predict the worst movies of 2009 and I chose "Hannah Montana: The Movie." Well, it's here and I've seen it and, unlike the falsely humble, I love it when I'm right.

Prepubescent girls "? the only audience for which this thing is intended "? are said to love horses. "Hannah Montana" comes complete with a horse and the thing that every horse leaves behind, and I don't mean the pleasure of a good ride.

Never having seen her before, I have no idea whether or not Miley Cyrus can act, but I can guess. For those of you who have never cared about this show or character, Cyrus plays Miley Stewart, a 16-year-old from Crowley Corners, Tenn., who portrays a character named Hannah Montana on a TV show. She is taken care of and guarded from the big, bad press by her publicist (Vanessa Williams, TV's "Ugly Betty") and her dad, Robby Ray (Miley's real-life father, singer Billy Ray Cyrus). Her best friend is Lilly (Emily Osment, "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over").

Because Hannah is becoming too "L.A.," Billy Ray drags her back to Hicksville for Gramma Ruby's (Margo Martindale, "Walk Hard") birthday. Then Oswald Granger (Peter Gunn, TV's "Born and Bred"), a reporter from a muckraking Brit tabloid, shows up to learn Hannah's Big Secret, and the picture goes into Disney-farce overdrive.

FICTIONAL CHARACTER
What's the secret? Hannah Montana is not a real person. For some reason undisclosed in the film, no one is supposed to know that Hannah is a fictional character portrayed by Miley. Makes you wonder if Mickey isn't a real mouse.

Miley has bragged about knowing Hannah, and when the town needs to raise a half-million dollars to hold off an oily real estate developer (Barry Bostwick, "Nancy Drew"), someone suggests that Miley call Hannah and get her to come on down to donate a free concert. What's a poor girl undergoing an identity crisis to do to avoid the complications of being in two places at the same time? How about calling her corporate masters at Disney to ask if the Jonas Brothers are busy next weekend?

That would be too easy. Let's go with the two-places-at-once stunts.

Of course, no one realizes that despite the fact they smile alike, sing alike, move alike and talk alike, Miley and Hannah are, in fact, one person. Here's your assignment for the week: Rent a long, blond wig and wear it to work, pretending to be someone else. See if anyone is fooled.

I think "Hannah Montana: The Movie" had a director and a writer. I'll just let them cash their checks in peace, but if they get in involved in any sequels, I'm ratting them out. Let's see, to take advantage of Miley's age, Disney would want a sequel to come out next year.

Shall I predict the worst movie of 2010 right now?

"?Doug Bentin

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