Terri Fletcher (Hilary Duff) is your typical sweet-hearted, small-town girl and she always obeys her intensely overprotective dad (David Keith), but when she gets accepted to a summer program at a prestigious Los Angeles music school and he forbids her to go, she realizes it's time to break away. With the help of her cool aunt (Rebecca De Mornay), Terri figures out a ruse to sneak off to LA and seize the chance to actualize her musical dreams. Once there, it's harsh wake-up time however, as she realizes being naive, adorable, blonde, un-pierced, and un-tattooed means being ostracized in this too-cool musical community. Luckily John Corbett, a sympathetic music teacher, is there to help, and there's time for romance to bloom with a British classmate (Oliver James). Before this little star can truly blossom though, she still has to cope with the trauma of losing her brother in a car accident (it's left her terrified of bright lights, a real problem for a stage performer) and then there's the matter of telling the truth to her furious father. Duff's effortless charisma lifts this sturdy, comfortably worn-in vehicle easily over the bumpier clichés, and delivers it safely to its inspiring destination.