If you loved STARGIRL, get ready to be mesmerized by Grace VanderWaal’s performance in HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL! Killer vocals, charming sequel. You can’t ask for more!!
HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL REVIEW
Following the success of the Disney+ Original film, STARGIRL, featuring Grace VanderWaal as the titular character, the sequel, HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL is a charming, lighthearted second film that is even better than the first.
HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL REVIEW – What Works
Fans of Jerry Spenelli’s books may expect this film to be based on “Love, Stargirl”—the sequel to “Stargirl”—but this film is an instead original story.
After leaving Mica, Arizona, the quirky Stargirl, heads to Los Angeles after her mother, Ana (played by Judy Greer) lands a job as a costume designer on a film.
Over the years, Stargirl and her mother have moved from place to place, leaving Stargirl feeling unsettled and wanting a more stable home and to be a part of a community with people she knows. Ana agrees to stay in LA to finish her last year at school, leaving Stargirl to enjoy the summer in her new home.
Pet rat and ukelele in hand, it doesn’t take Stargirl long to befriend her neighbors, including landlord and aspiring filmmaking adult brothers Evan and Terrell (played by Elijah Richardson and Tyrel Jackson Williams).
After bonding over music, she also begins a romantic relationship with Evan as they join forces to film a short film.
Stargirl also befriends the grumpy neighbor, Mr. Mitchell, who she helps to reconnect with his son. She also helps an older musician named Roxanne Martel (played by Uma Thurman) get back into her groove and perform again.
This sequel doesn’t require knowledge of the first film to be enjoyed
Even though HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL is a sequel, it can be watched independently. There isn’t much connection to the original movie.
Stargirl is a fantastic, heartwarming character, who uplifts everyone she meets and brings joy to their world—it just happens to conveniently be everyone living in her building.
Grace VanderWaal’s Vocals are Fire
Grace VanderWaal’s vocal performance as Stargirl steals the show. Her vocal performance was the best part of the movie and the music is again the highlight of a STARGIRL movie.
VanderWaal‘s original song “Figure it Out” was the standout in the film and it’s wonderful to hear her leave her mark on the film.
The musical charm of the film can’t be discussed without a nod to composer Michael Penn‘s soundtrack.
HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL REVIEW – What Doesn’t Work
Even though HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL is a sequel, it can be watched independently. There isn’t much connection to the original movie; this can be a good thing, but it is a little odd given that the first film seemed to hint at Stargirl having a magical element, which isn’t discussed in this film at all.
As a whole, Stargirl is charming and heartwarming—but also a bit dull and one-dimensional. Perfectly well-behaved pet rat? Sees the positive in literally every single thing? Being quirky and uber kind isn’t enough to sustain the film. We love a feel-good movie but even a feel-good movie needs a little bit of conflict to drive the story.
ABOUT HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL
Disney’s HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL is a sequel to the 2020 Disney+ film about free spirit Stargirl Caraway (Grace VanderWaal), a silver-voiced teenager whose simple acts of kindness work magic in the lives of others, that follows Stargirl’s journey out of Mica, Arizona and into a bigger world of music, dreams, and possibilities. When her mother Ana (Judy Greer) is hired as the costume designer for a movie, they relocate to L.A., where Stargirl quickly becomes involved with an eclectic assortment of characters. They include aspiring filmmaking brothers Evan (Elijah Richardson) and Terrell (Tyrel Jackson Williams); Mr. Mitchell (Judd Hirsch), one of Stargirl’s neighbors; and Roxanne Martel (Uma Thurman), a musician Stargirl admires and encounters on her journey.
Returning as Stargirl, VanderWaal performs the original song “Figure It Out,” which she wrote for the film. Julia Hart returns to direct. Hart & Jordan Horowitz wrote the original script, based on the original character from Jerry Spinelli’s best-selling book Stargirl. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, p.g.a., Lee Stollman, p.g.a. and Jordan Horowitz, p.g.a. are the producers, with Kristin Hahn, Nathan Kelly, and Jerry Spinelli serving as executive producers.
Rating: PG for some mild language
Director: Julia Hart
Screenplay by: Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz
Novel by: Jerry Spinelli
Cast: Grace VanderWaal (“Stargirl”)
Judy Greer (“Archer”)
Elijah Richardson (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”)
Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Brockmire”)
Nija Okoru (“The Black Emperor of Broadway”)
Al Madrigal (“Dark Air with Terry Carnation”)
with Judd Hirsch (“Superior Donuts”) and Uma Thurman (“The War with Grandpa”)
HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL is available exclusively on Disney+ June 3.
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