A movie which Hilary Duff made during her Lizzie McGuire phase that many believe showed her acting chops. (The scenes where her character dealt with losing her brother were surprisingly believeable.)Duff plays Terri Fletcher, her usual perky character except with occasional Wangst due to the fact that her brother Paul died in a freak car accident with Terri as a passenger. Terri is "forced" to disobey her Overprotective Dad because it's her destiny to go to music school in Los Angeles (a justification the film thinks is good enough to sermonize), where she finds the usual Stock Characters:
- Jay Corgan (Oliver James): Terri's English boyfriend
- Denise Gilmore (Dana Davis): Terri's Sassy Black roommate
- "Kiwi" Wilson (Johnny Lewis): Fun Personified as a Hollywood Nerd
- Robin Childers (Lauren C. Mayhew): the Alpha Bitch
- Sloane (Kat Dennings): A Goth Deadpan Snarker
- Mr. Torvald (John Corbett): Terri's Cool Teacher
- Adult Fear: On the first night of summer, Paul is killed by a drunk driver, with Terri as a passenger (although the latter's physical injuries are relatively minor). The parents, naturally, have a pretty difficult time recovering from this.
- Adults Are Useless: Played with. Terri's mother and aunt are shown to be resourceful, caring and quick-thinking when it comes to Terri's secret summer adventure, and her teachers at Bristol-Hillman all seem to know what they're doing and are genuinely invested in their students. However, Terri's father, already rigid and overly traditional, easily falls for their obvious scheme of Terri's secret enrollment in the music program. He only manages to discover the lie when he stumbles upon an invitation to the final concert — not the (likely fairly massive, considering the size of the school) tuition payment, which goes unmentioned.
- Break the Cutie: Terri already has a fairly tense relationship with her father, who is adamantly against her pursuing her passions in music. After the traumatic death of her brother, she's pressured into going anyway where she struggles to fit in, experiences stage-fright and anxiety, is antagonized by Robin, and despite forming a relationship with Jay, has to deal with him possibly cheating on her with Robin.
- Covers Always Lie: Look carefully at the image on this page. Paul is included in the group of music students behind Hilary Duff, but in the film he never goes to the music school or meets any of those characters around him. He's dead by the time any of them are introduced.
- Eating Lunch Alone: Terri on one of her first days at the program can't find a place to sit and has trouble talking to others.
- Embarrassing First Name: Kiwi's real name turns out to be Engelbert.
- Fish out of Water: The basic premise of Terri's storyline at Bristol-Hillman, being that most of the students (particularly in the vocals program) have more classical training than her and are significantly less sheltered and more prepared for the L.A. scene.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Terri becomes fairly despondent after Paul's death, although it fades fairly quickly.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Robin is no saint, and her tantrum over Terri getting her vocal part may have been a little inappropriate, but she's not wrong that Terri was given the part not because she was the best singer or the most well-prepared, but because she "deserves" it for her improvement. Robin's skills are higher and she's shown to have pretty good work ethic, despite being a jerkass — and unlike Terri, she actually shows up to class and doesn't have meltdowns every time she fails to do something right.
- Once More, with Clarity!: Flashbacks to Paul's death are revisited several times.
- Out Living Ones Offspring: Terri and Paul's parents outlive their eldest.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Terri becomes this when she procures tickets to Paul's favourite band and sneaks him out for the concert, which ultimately leads to his death. Of course, the rest of the movie deals with Terri's guilt over this act.