was the hannah montana movie worth it? well. you see,

As friends, collaborators and above all scientists, Jess Bellamy and myself decided that there was nothing for it, really, at this stage we had literally no choice but to watch a Disney film together last night and simultaneously review it. What follows is my interpretation of the proceedings – to witness the same events from Jess’ perspective, get thee to Would Jess Like It NOW.
Before breaking into THE HANNAH MONTANA MOVIE, which Jess absolutely rented from the DVD rental shop because she is not a criminal, we decided to clarify what we hoped to learn about life, about Miley, about ourselves, by watching the film. Jess thought about it for not even a second before saying, ‘Maybe the question is: Is it worth it? Is it worth giving up whatever she gave up, to make this, whatever it is?

Indeed. Can’t fuck with that. And with that in mind, we kicked the fucker off.


The opening sequence features hordes of running teenagers intercut with Billy Ray Cyrus staring vengefully at wigs.

jess: it’s a mirror
david: billy ray just looks shitty
jess: he is fed up
david: miley cyrus just got refused entry into her own gig
jess: as if this bitch on the door wouldn’t consult the guestlist. I hope she gets fired.

I don’t know what happens next but somehow Miley and her bland best friend are driving down corridors chased by a security guard. They crash through a Hannah Montana poster and Hannah Montana’s face sticks to Miley’s.


david: I missed the symbolism
jess: me too

the credits happen and then a concert and then

jess: when did this transition happen? we’re now on a beach
david: what the fuck, why did she get hit by a coconut?

the devilish sleaze reporter from a british tabloid named Bon Chic has planted a camera in her dressing room

jess: I feel like bon chic would be a pretty classy mag
david: I want to be dan berendsen the writer of this film or study at the academy he no doubt has

the reporter from Bon Chic is trying to find out hannah montana’s ‘secret’ and now she is in volleyball class getting hit in the face by a ball


jess: maybe her secret is that she keeps getting hit in the face by balls all the time

miley’s brother is smashed on codeine in the middle of the street yelling at billy ray cyrus that he wants to go to college

jess: you are too stupid to go to college.

meanwhile miley cyrus and tyra banks are having a fight fuelled by the cocaine jitters. miley throws a high heel at tyra banks and it smashes into the wall next to tyra’s head and it could have literally put her eye out.

jess: this is embarrassing for them
david: there are cameras everywhere!
jess: miley your best friend and your brother are calling you on your phone you piece of shit!


some confusing shit happens in a taxi and jess’ housemate tom explains to us that Hannah is Miley’s secret identity and no-one knows that they are the same person, except most of the characters we’ve met so far, but some of them don’t. this slightly clears up some shit and then hannah is doing a gig at her best friend’s birthday party. a small boy makes a cake explode for no compelling reason. then we are on a private beach and miley’s manager vanessa williams is there with an umbrella and billy ray cyrus and miley

billy ray cyrus: you got into a stinking shoefight, miley!
miley: I need to go to the music awards in new york
manager: I can get her a private jet
jess: you’re spoiling her, you bitch!

miley and billy ray get on the plane to new york but, shockingly, the plane lands in a field. it was a trick! billy ray is forcing miley to do a detox from hannah montana by flying her to this shitty southern state where there are nothing but trees and meth labs. miley’s brother is here too making out with a dog in the back of a truck


jess: he hasn’t gone to college!
david: I predict this boy will spend the entire movie mournfully saying the word ‘college’

miley throws a tantrum and billy ray abandons her to her old horse. miley wants to ride bluejeans so she takes off her swanky city clothes in the field and underneath she is dressed in ordinary country shit

jess: she had that outfit on underneath this whole time!
david: she’s remembered her country roots
jess: so the movie’s resolved now, it’ll just be fun horse times the rest of the movie

but we are wrong! it’s not that easy, miley’s horse runs away and a boy has to come and lasso it romantically. sweeping strings suggest that he is our romantic male lead, and then we see him close up


jess: oh I don’t know about this guy

jess is right to be concerned, ‘Travis’ is an uncharismatic waste of screenspace, but speaking as a straight male, between miley and her scheming grandma I am sorted for eye candy in this film so I don’t care

‘travis’ (fake name?) takes miley home on the horse

jess: I think the producer has told her not to press her boobs against him
david: are they gonna talk in this accent this whole film?

at the farmhouse we meet some available single chick around the right age for billy ray to seek to get his lecherous fangs into her

jess’ housemate skye: you know who that is, right?
david: someone who didn’t have enough self respect to tell their manager they’re not playing billy ray cyrus’ love interest?
jess: it’s jan from the office. she’s gone from steve carrell to billy ray cyrus.
david: where’s the next stop on that trajectory?

miley is looking at photos of her dead mother.

jess: oh no, dead mum brooke shields!
jess’ housemate tom: is that a giant rabbit?
david: is that giant rabbit moving?
jess: the photos are alive!

then the grandma comes up to talk some deep shit about miley’s dead mother brooke shields and tell miley what a selfish slag she’s being

grandma: i just miss my miley
miley: why does everyone keep saying that?
grandma: maybe you should ask yourself that question
jess: grandma is full of bitch! why is everyone being so passive aggressive to miley?
david: why is this movie so full of farmhouse scenes?
jess: I feel we’re about to see a chicken feeding montage
miley: I’m going to feed the chickens!

miley does a song and dance number feeding chickens in the barn but then she puts all the eggs in the pockets of her overalls and falls over on them


jess: there is yolk running down her ass.
david: what is that symbolic of?

INTERLUDE: What The Fuck Is Up With Miley’s Brother?
At first I was afraid there would be a whole subplot featuring Miley’s brother and maybe there was, but it 90% got axed in the editing room. What was left was some cubist shit, where you really have to make your own meaning from the collage of shots because there’s no narrative there to help.

Miley’s brother first appears dancing on the street in front of traffic like a teen who’s just discovered the transformative delights of heroin, yelling the words I’M GOING TO COLLEGE. The next shot is him making out with a dog in the back of a truck. The third time he appears he is face to face with an ostrich in front of a crowd of tiny children, telling the children that the ostrich is the fastest thing on two legs. Is this college? Has someone told him that he’s in college and this is a tutorial? It doesn’t matter, because at this point a skinny yokel emerges from his bathroom meth laboratory and orders Miley’s brother into the river to be killed by an alligator. Miley’s brother obediently climbs into the river and to shouts of glee from the children, he is killed by an alligator. This is halfway through the film.



I’m skipping over the bit with miley and her grandma at the country town fair with the sleazy reporter, suffice to say that miley wanders off when she’s supposed to be protecting the watermelon, she poisons a journalist and upends a truck full of walnuts in order to murder a man, and all of this sounds a lot better than it plays out in practice

the next important thing that we give a shit about is miley and ‘travis’ the love interest in a barn while she is writing music on her guitar and then he says some confusing shit while building his new barn to start an egg selling business


david: that’s a weird line
jess: what?
david: ‘life’s a climb but the view’s great’
jess: that’s the name of the main single from the soundtrack
david: well it wasn’t worked well into the script
jess: I figure most of her fans probably know her music so it wasn’t lost on them

later that night at the charity concert in some fucking barn somewhere, billy ray cyrus appears onstage with a band to play a new Billy Ray composition – he’s still perfoming, guys! – and it’s a turgid lump of Achy Breaky Heart-vintage country dreck infused with a decade’s worth of inspiration from lynchpins such as Creed and Nickelback. No-one can love you, Billy Ray! and then thank christ taylor swift appears


jess: holy shit. but I guess she wasn’t that famous back then
david: that’s a damn lie. she was madison square gardens sell out famous
jess: I guess I’m a damn liar
skye: I love her
david: she’s so squinty and pure

no-one seems that impressed that taylor swift has shown up to this event, no-one acknowledges her presence in any way, and it’s not clear whether in the world of the hannah montana movie, miley cyrus and taylor swift know each other tlike they do in real life – anyway miley dances with her country boy and then gets up on stage –

miley: I’m gonna add a little hiphop to the mix.


and then Miley begins teaching them all the hoedown fucking throwdown. let me quote Jess’ review of the christmas miracle that is the hoedown throwdown, because even after forcing Hadley to watch it five or six times in a row on youtube I still can’t make it make sense:

OH MY GOD it is incredible. The whole room rolls effortlessly into this thing and it’s like magic is happening in front of our eyes, and every time I try to look away it’s like my soul yells “GIMME MORE” and I am now FULLY in the heart region, brain left behind. If all of their budget went into this scene, it was worth it. 500 out of 10. .


and then in the midst of all this party time walks the developer who is planning to build a block of nonsensical apartments in the middle of some field somewhere and he basically mocks all the community participants

david: this is like a coal mining magnate coming in to a greenpeace rally and throwing down a challenge to all the crusty anarchists – it’s kinda admirable

anyway more confusing shit happens and then suddenly hannah montana has arrived and somehow that will save the town, and it’s miley’s bland best friend pretending to be hannah – now miley is watching her dad make out with his new girlfriend on the bed while what he thinks is his daughter lies there passive with a towel over her face – before her ladder falls into the patch of squashes and she has a giant squash on her head –


david: I feel like this movie shifted gears in the last couple of minutes
jess: yeah I’m not feeling it

now miley is pretending to be hannah and ‘travis’ has asked miley out for dinner at the same time as hannah is supposed to be at dinner with the mayor AND MILEY ACCEPTS BOTH INVITATIONS

jess: as if your publicist would let you go out with that guy oooooooohhhhhhhh

(this was jess sighing involuntarily as ‘travis’ walks past a window combing his terrible hair)

so miley is flicking between her date with ‘travis’ and her big important dinner where a ferret is loose – she keeps lying to ‘travis’ about needing to answer the phone and so on while he is trying to work up the courage to tell her how much he wants to make gentle love to her by the river where the water runs cold and wild and free

david: this is actually what it would be like going out with miley – fleeting.
jess: so many lies and excuses!

all the lies come unravelled in a poorly executed revolving door sequence in which nine or ten people get trapped in the same revolving door going in slow motion with a tiny child eyeballing both miley/hannah and ‘travis’ is there looking sad, then ‘travis’ yells at her

travis‘: you lied to me – I would never treat you like this –
jess’ housemate tom: this would be a good nida audition piece


the next morning some random girl walks through the set and sees a rainbow painted chicken coop

jess: that’s pretty beautiful. and, can I say, flaming?
david: who is that girl?
skye: it’s miley’s best friend, she’s been in every second scene this whole film

but all of that is nitpicking leading up to the big finale which is  THE HANNAH MONTANA CONCERT – the same group of extras who has been in every crowd scene in this whole movie gather to do one more stint as the hometown folk for this big charity concert, which goes to hell when miley breaks down onstage and confesses to who she is and apologises for all the people she’s hurt and lied to


jess’ housemate tom: this is a better nida monologue

miley starts singing ‘the climb’ and it is soft and beautiful to begin with but you know it’s going to build to a swelling climactic finale

jess’ housemate tom: I don’t believe this tennessee high school orchestra can play this song without ever hearing it
jess: did anyone else get involuntary goosebumps?
david: yeah disney can play the shivers up my spine like a fucking violin

now my notes run out but what I roughly remember of the finale is that when miley finishes singing the climb she is all like ‘I guess I can’t be Hannah Montana any more’ and the crowd is all like BUT YOU HAVE TO BE


and the crowd starts howling ‘Hannah! Hannah!’ at her and miley can clearly sense a lynching in the works and she is afraid, afraid, and so she puts on the wig and pretends to be hannah montana again, and briefly appeases their lust for her celebrity alter ego


so, was it worth it? well. you see,