RAISE YOUR VOICE: 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 fulfill her musical dreams. But when she gets there, it's wake-up time, 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 vehicle easily over the bumpier clichés, and delivers it safely to its inspiring destination.
HOW TO DEAL: Being a teenager is hard enough without having to deal with your parents' divorce, your sister's wedding, your best friend's pregnancy, and the death of a friend. And falling in love for the first time? That only makes everything harder. At least that's what 17-year-old Halley Martin (Mandy Moore) discovers during her junior year in high school. A confirmed skeptic on love after dealing with her parents' divorce, Halley doesn't understand how her best friend, Scarlett (Alexandra Holden), can suddenly be head over heels for her first serious boyfriend. Or, for that matter, how her older sister, Ashley (Mary Catherine Garrison), can marry stuffy Lewis (Mackenzie Austin) when they seem to disagree all the time. But when her friendship with a quirky schoolmate, Macon Forrester (Trent Ford), ultimately blossoms into romance, Halley suddenly has to reconsider everything she thought to be true about love. Allison Janney stars as Lydia, Halley's mom, a new divorcée dealing with being dumped for a younger woman by her ultra-hip DJ husband, Len (Peter Gallagher). Clare Kilner (JANICE BEARD: 45 WORDS PER MINUTE) is the director of this coming-of-age tale.