Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Miley Cyrus is all grown up. At this point, starting an article about the pop star with that line is more than a bit trite, but with the premiere of her MTV documentary “Miley: The Movement” on Wednesday (Oct. 2), it can’t be denied that that’s the message Cyrus is desperate to get across.
Well, half the message.
The full thesis? Miley Cyrus is all grown up, and she doesn’t really care what you think. In the hour-long special, which took a look at Cyrus’s work on her upcoming album “Bangerz,” leading up to her legendary (or infamous, depending on who you ask) performance at the 2013 MTV VMAs.
Off the bat, Cyrus makes clear: “I don’t apologize for anything. I’m always gonna do something different. I think if people could see the details, they’d know this wasn’t just some big mess.” This is the idea that the “We Can’t Stop” singer echoes over and over throughout the film.
More than an opportunity to further press for her album (though it’s certainly doing that), the special is an opportunity to Cyrus to explain herself. This is a girl finally claiming the control over a career that’s never been solely in her hands. Growing up the shining star of the Disney machine, her history as Hannah Montana not only led to her newfound desire to rebel and maintain control, but it’s also the major factor behind the reaction to her current career moves.
“I think there’s something about watching people grow up,” Cyrus says at one point. “People get a connection, they feel like they know you. But they all get really entitled.” She explains that she’s working from behind the eight ball because she grew up in the spotlight. “You [can] look at Lady Gaga at 8 and then at Lady Gaga and say, ‘She’s changed.’ Well, yeah, she’s changed!”
With all the focus on Cyrus’ album and career changes, there’s hardly room for talk of her personal life, meaning there’s zero talk about Liam Hemsworth. But when she says, “Right now, I put this record before anything else in my life” and adds that it needs to succeed to make it worth having sacrificed all she had, it’s easy to infer what she’s referring to.
But by excluding that, and any other areas in her life that she can’t specifically control, there’s an authenticity missing from “Miley: The Movement.” For as much as she professes to finally be her true self (which, it should be said, doesn’t seem like posturing), the special itself is less documentary and more carefully controlled PR moment. And that’s a shame.
– “Anyone that has ever said, ‘Where is her mother?’ Right beside her,” Tish Cyrus says. It’s great to see her by her daughter’s side, but Billy Ray’s absence from the hour was quite jarring.
– “I always said I only want one b**** on my album and that’s Britney, b****.”
– “I want people to continue to think that they’ve drawn a line. We’re in 2013. I live in America, where we’re the land of the free, and I feel like if you can’t express yourself, you’re not very free.”
– “It’s a strategic hot mess.”