Miley Cyrus has the formula for success |

Miley Cyrus has the formula for success

Howie Nave, special to Lake Tahoe Action

Singer Miley Cyrus, left, and her father singer Billy Ray Cyrus perform together on ABC's 'Good Morning America', Wednesday, April 8, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

In a classic case of art imitating life, Miley Cyrus brings both of her small screen characters to the big screen exercising her acting chops, albeit without stretching that much.

It helps when the movie is sort of autobiographical and the songs are actually sung by the person being portrayed in the movie. If it seems like dejà vu having this movie out, you’re only half right. Last year Miley starred in “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.” Think of this as more of the same but a story when she is off stage and how well she can hold off her fans from letting them know who she really is under that wig.

OK, don’t think I’m too weird but I had to find out more on why the whole Hannah Montana thing is so popular with the “tween” set out there. So I watched Disney’s most bankable star for some background.

Hannah (the character) is one of the most successful young pop stars out there today. Hannah also is the secret identity of teenager Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus).

As with most successful pop stars, deep down they really just want to grow up as a normal kid, but that is virtually impossible at times. I mean one only need to follow the meteoric rise of Michael Jackson to see that he missed out on having a regular upbringing and therefore turned out to be anything but what one might call normal. At least the fictional character of Miley seems to be a little more grounded having regular friends and attends a regular school. Playing her dad is real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus.

Parents will probably like the movie but it’s really geared toward their offspring. It has all the basic set-ups that are a hallmark when it comes to a Disney flick: A loving parent (there’s a reason for only one parent in the movie and, yes, it is a tear-jerker), a beautiful backdrop (Tennessee never looked prettier) and a well-grounded message about who to place your trust in. That, of course, is family.

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The movie opens with Hannah caught in a dilemma having to chose listening to her publicist (played by Vanessa Williams) to play yet another high-profile show, attend her best friend’s birthday party or head back to Tennessee to celebrate a birthday involving family. You would think the last choice would be the obvious one but Miley is becoming wrapped up into her Hannah persona. That’s where dad comes in and reminds her what matters in this life. There’s even a love-interest angle too but no need to worry parents, it’s pretty tame. Are you kidding? There is no way Disney would their little girl to grow up too fast. Maybe in real life but not in a theater where repeat showings by her diehard fans will boost this movie to the top of the heap.

The music is catchy in a country/pop kind of way and there’s no doubt that the real Miley Cyrus is very talented. What I would like to see from here on out is a role that challenges her where she isn’t playing herself ” or even a singer, for that manner. She has a huge built-in audience that will plunk down money to see her. Cyrus literally has the best of both worlds and could become an actor worth checking if she decides that she wants to do more movies in the future.

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” is rated G for the entire family and clocks in at one hour and 42 minutes.