Hilary Duff’s songs chart a course through phases of a romance: “Anywhere But Here” basks in the glow of new love; a remake of the Go-Gos’ 1981 hit “Our Lips Are Sealed” (with her sister Haylie) dismisses jealousy and gossip targeting a new couple; “Crash World” deals with a pending breakup; “Now You Know” tries to rescue the relationship with sincere confession. Haylie’s “One in This World” seeks a rescuer and soul mate who “loves me for the one that I am.” A similar theme of acceptance runs through “Friend” (by Kaitlyn). On “Beautiful Soul,” Jesse McCartney pledges faithfulness to a girl whose loveliness shines from within. Other love songs come courtesy of MxPx (“First Day of the Rest of Our Lives”), Edward McCain (“I’ll Be”), Josh Kelley (a remake of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love”) and Mya (“Fallen”).
A line on “I’ll Be” implies sexual intimacy, yet lacks marital context (“Rain falls angry on the tin roof as we lie awake in my bed”).
Like the film it came from, this soundtrack (dominated by Duff, who stars in the movie) offers teens an upbeat, sentimental look at love. Overly romanticized? Perhaps, but there’s a charming optimism at work. Parents may want to weigh in on that “I’ll Be” lyric, but A Cinderella Story ends happily ever after.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews.