This film, written by teen star Kate Larson (who plays Laura Banks) and directed by Lisa Arnold, hits a home run in showing that family and the people in our lives are much more real and important than fame.
Laura Banks finds a “magic” microphone that gives her a star-sounding voice and it opens up doors for her to actually go on tour, despite still being in school. She is close to her dad, from whom she gained her music abilities. In fact, her mother tells her that she and her dad have a lot in common. It is a rocky time for Laura’s parents, William and Kim (Kevin Sizemore and Leigh-Allyn Baker). William is a drummer for a band, and he is constantly on tour with them, which makes Kim feel neglected. She also feels that William’s and Laura’s musical bond is cutting her out of her spousal relationship. She tells Laura, “Sometimes life just isn’t fun.”
Laura’s besties at school include Riley, David, and Ben, and she and Ben have feelings for each other. They also band together to great music and choreographed dance numbers. They are definitely a talented bunch.
Besides some high-spirited song and dance routines and drama in the movie, there are some comedic moments as well. In one scene, William tells Laura that he feels like he is pretty cool. “I mean, as cool as a dad can be!” retorts Laura, jesting with her father. In another humorous scene, Kim is feeling down and swipes Laura’s ice cream from her, stating she hasn’t had any in quite a while. She looks longingly at the ice cream, stating, “I’ve missed you!” And Christian comedian Jeff Allen plays Mr. Wilson, a teacher that keeps falling asleep in class.
In still another scene Riley tells the group, “I’m a diva,” to which David replies, “We knew that.” But the friends are loyal to one another. However, when Laura is offered an amazing chance to go on tour, and she is hooked up with singer Zac Wills (Iain Tucker), Ben becomes insecure, thinking she has forsaken him and their budding relationship. A manager named Lee (Karen Abercrombie) pushes Laura toward becoming as big as she can be, which includes a grueling tour and a number of press conferences. Laura soon learns that fame is not all that it’s cracked up to be. On top of this, her dad has suffered an accident, and Laura can’t be at his side in the hospital which begins weighing heavily on her mind. Laura’s mom FaceTimes her, reminding Laura that her father is a fighter.
There are several things to think about while watching this film. Relationships, even good and important ones, must deal with life’s difficulties and sometimes figuring things out is not easy. There is tension between Laura and her mom, and then Laura and Ben, but their willingness to work things out goes a long way in finding resolutions. Another point made is that fame can leave one feeling empty if solid relationships are not included with it.
There are some elements for parents to consider, including Laura and Ben skipping school to hang out and go fishing, and although played for comedy, in one scene the high school principal (Victoria Jackson) tells the students on the intercom that there is greatness in them, but then (without realizing the microphone is still on), she says “Failures!” But there are several positive elements too, including the forgiveness that several characters show, including Laura’s “besties” towards her, and the importance of parental relationships, which Laura not only shares with her dad but comes to find with her mother. The film has earned our Dove seal for Ages 12+. The music is terrific including songs, “Under the Moon, Under the Stars” and “There’s a Voice Inside – It’s Calling Me.”
THE DOVE TAKE: This film nicely shows the power of forgiveness and the importance of family priorities, capped off with some great energetic songs and dance.