Critics sing the blues over Miley Cyrus movie

Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:40pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Critics slammed Miley Cyrus in her first movie made outside her "Hannah Montana" character as it opened in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, but "The Last Song" was still expected to perform well at box offices.

The weepy romantic drama, written by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, was deemed melodramatic and formulaic and claimed only a seven percent approval rating on reviews aggregator

Cyrus, 17, who has said she wants to make a career in movies after five years playing Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana", was widely savaged for her performance as a surly teen sent to spend the summer with her estranged father.

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post called it "the most dubious 'dramatic' debut of any singer since Britney Spears" and took Cyrus to task for "displaying approximately one and a half expressions."

Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips said Cyrus "plays an angry, heartbroken girl in a way that, sad to say, shows off her 'Hannah Montana'-drilled tricks and tics and air of entitlement more than her dramatic range."

The Philadelphia Inquirer was kinder, with critic Carrie Rickey remarking that the movie was a "relatively-restrained tear-jerker."

"The Last Song" marks Cyrus's transition from 'tween Disney TV fare to more adult drama. Hollywood box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian said the poor reviews were unlikely to dissuade her legions of young fans.

"Reviews generally don't matter with this type of film. Because of Miley Cyrus's audience, they will turn out to see her no matter what," Dergarabedian said.

Two previous Cyrus movies -- "Hannah Montana The Movie" in 2009 and 2008 concert film "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" -- both opened No.1 at North American box offices with first weekend ticket sales of more than $31 million each.   Continued...

<p>Actress and singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>