Raise Your Voice (a.k.a Heart of Summer or Raising Your Voice) is a 2004 musical drama film for the teen audience starring Hilary Duff in the lead role. It was directed by Sean McNamara and stars Oliver James, Lauren Mayhew, David Keith, and Dana Davis co-star. Filming began in January 2004. The film tells the story of a teenage girl from Flagstaff, Arizona who spends the summer at a performing arts school in Los Angeles against her father's will.
Terri Fletcher (Hilary Duff), a teenager with a passion for singing, has been accepted into a music program in Los Angeles and compete for a $10,000 scholarship shortly after her brother Paul (Jason Ritter)'s tragic death in a car crash. However, her father Simon (David Keith), a second-generation restaurateur, disapproves of Terri's plans, stating that being a singer may not be a worthwhile life choice. In reality, his opposition stems from resentment; Simon turned down a similar scholarship to run his parents' restaurant when they became ill; he is intimidated by the thought of his daughter flourishing where he couldn't bring himself to try. However, Terri's mother, Frances (Rita Wilson), has a different opinion, knowing that Paul would have wanted Terri to attend the program. Frances tells Simon that Terri plans to live with her aunt in Palm Desert for the summer and allows her daughter to travel to LA.
Terri arrives in Los Angeles and weathers some difficult ordeals: her jacket is stolen, her cab driver is crabby, and when she arrives at the music school, the door is locked; fellow student Jay (Oliver James) lets her in and Terri arrives safely. While at the program, Terri makes new friends and learns a great deal about music, but problems arise when she is plagued by memories of the car crash which took Paul's life and finds it increasingly difficult to keep her participation in the program a secret from her father.
Throughout the film, Terri develops a mutual fondness for Jay, but she faces competition from Robin Childers (Lauren C. Mayhew), who was involved with Jay the previous summer. Although Robin still harbors feelings for Jay, it is obvious that he does not reciprocate these feelings. Jay tries to get Robin to cease her efforts to keep him and Terri apart. 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 her roommate Denise (Dana Davis) take Jay elsewhere to sober up. When he does, Terri tells Jay the truth about her brother's death; he was killed by a drunk driver. Jay apologizes, and Terri agrees to finish the song they've been working on for the scholarship contest.
At home, Simon learns of Terri's ruse and becomes furious. On the final day, Simon comes to the school and Terri finds him packing up her belongings; he reams his daughter for disobeying and deceiving him, and for turning his own sister and wife against him. She begs him to let her finish what she started here and not let the summer go to waste. Ultimately, her father concedes and Terri gets to perform the song she rehearsed with Jay. The scholarship prize is won by Denise, and Simon is proud of his daughter and her talents. Terri's teachers hope to see her next year; Simon replies that they just might. Over the end credits, Terri performs for her parents and Nina, with Jay cheering her on.
(to a Very Drunk and Determined Jay Corgan)
Terri Fletcher: Why would you do that? Why would you drink?
Jay Corgan: (on the verge of crying in self pity) Because... Because I'm... I'm worthless
Terri Fletcher: (crossly) You know what? Don't even try and give me that self-pity thing!
Jay Corgan: My music became like a religion. It kept me sane.
Simon Fletcher: Where is she?
Aunt Nina: Ah, well, there's something I want to talk to you about, Simon.
|Release Date||3 October 2004|
|US Box Office||$10,000,000|
|Tagline||Don't give up. Don't hold back. (Australia DVD)|
|Genre||Family, Music, Romance, Drama|
|Filming Locations||Flagstaff, Arizona, USA|
|Sound Mix||DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS|
|Film Class||Teen Movie, Musical Drama|
|Themes||Journey of Self-Discovery, Death in the Family, Underdogs, Teachers and Students|
|Tones||Earnest, Sentimental, Heartwarming, Bittersweet|