Movie Review: Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice Trailer

Raise Your Voice Summary

Terri Fletcher is a Flagstaff, Arizona teenager who has a passion for singing and dreams of becoming a professional singer. She wants to participate in a music program that could give her a $10,000 scholarship. Her overprotective father Simon, a second-generation restaurateur, disapproves of Terri’s plans, stating that being a singer may not be a worthwhile life choice. Simon believes that Terri will get hurt if she goes to Los Angeles and would prefer if she continues running the family business. Simon thinks this is the only way to keep Terri safe. 

Terri is very close to her elder brother Paul, who fully supports her dream, despite their father. At Paul’s graduation-day barbecue, he has a fight with Simon, who, in the heat of it, grounds him. That night, Terri sneaks Paul out of the house to attend a Three Days Grace concert. On the way back, Paul was planning on going to college and leaving right away. They have a car accident, hit by a drunk driver. Terri awakens in the hospital, and learns that Paul was killed.

Terri blames herself for Paul’s death, wants to quit singing and not attend the music program. However, her mother Frances says that it’s not her fault and that Paul would have wanted Terri to attend the program. She eventually convinces Terri to go, telling Simon that Terri plans to stay with her aunt Nina in Palm Desert, California for the summer while she actually goes to Los Angeles.

Terri arrives in Los Angeles and has a few difficulties: her jacket is stolen, her cab driver is crabby, and initially can’t get into the music school. While in the program, Terri makes new friends, including fun-loving DJ Kiwi, quiet pianist Sloane, and her roommate Denise, a talented violinist, and learns a great deal about music, but has flashbacks of the car crash.

She also develops a mutual fondness for British songwriter Jay, but she faces competition from Robin Childers, who was with Jay the previous summer. Robin still harbors feelings for Jay, but he does not reciprocate. Jay tries to get Robin to leave him and Terri alone. On one occasion, she kisses him just as Terri walks in. Jay pushes Robin away, but Terri runs off in tears, ignoring Jay’s insistence that the kiss meant nothing. Later, finding him drunk, Terri and Denise take Jay to the roof to sober up. When he does, Jay apologizes, and Terri agrees to finish the song they have been working on for the scholarship contest.

In the meantime, Simon learns of Terri’s ruse and becomes furious. He then drives to Los Angeles to bring Terri home. On the final day, Simon comes to the school and Terri finds him packing up her belongings; he reams Terri for deceiving him, and for turning his sister and wife against him. Terri begs her father not to make same mistake he did with Paul and make her run, and not ruin the summer. 

Ultimately, realizing how selfish he had been, he changes his mind. Terri and Jay perform the song they wrote, dedicating it to Paul. Even though Denise wins the scholarship prize, Simon is proud of his daughter and her talents, and is also glad that her last memory of Paul is one worth having (the concert), as opposed to Simon’s own (their argument). Terri’s teachers hope to see her next year; Simon replies that they just might. Over the end credits, the students perform together, joyously.

Raise Your Voice Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was and is such an underrated film. It is sad but that really motivates Terri (Hilary Duff). Her voice is so beautiful. The jam sessions are on point. I wish studios made more movies like this.

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