Hollywood Stargirl: The BRWC Review

Hollywood Stargirl: The BRWC Review

The film 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 on 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.

Julia Hart‘s Stargirl was one of the most surprisingly great movies of 2020. Who would’ve thought that a film focused on a strange girl who loves to play ukelele and sing songs at her school could be so emotional and investing? It was based on Jerry Spinelli’s novel of the same name, which is also quite terrific.

My love for the first film made me quite excited to see where Hart would go with her sequel film, Hollywood Stargirl. But, interestingly, it does not follow the events of Spinelli’s sequel novel Love, Stargirl, instead telling a brand new story focusing on the titular character.

How is it? Well… sadly, I was disappointed immensely. It has the same feel-good vibe of the first film, but it also doesn’t feel nowhere near as authentic which left me feeling as if there was a massive hole in my heart. Stargirl had so much heart, humor, and emotion where as Hollywood Stargirl just has some heart.

Interestingly, the film doesn’t even really have that much of a story either. The first film was about Stargirl trying to find out who she truly was as a person. It took a lot of trial and error but she eventually got there by the time the end credits rolled. In this sequel, she just desperately wants to make a movie and be a big star, and I just couldn’t help but wonder “Who cares?”.

Unless you are the ultimate superfan of Stargirl, you’re probably going to find yourself bored out of your mind for the vast majority of this follow-up. One thing that immensely surprised me was that the film was written by the same screenwriters of the first. So… why in the world is this film so much worse?

The dialogue is also a huge problem here, too. There are plenty of cringe-worthy scenes in here that just made me feel so weird inside, including a scene in which Stargirl is performing a song in a club full of people, and nobody is doing anything. They’re just sitting there staring at her.

Later on, an old man looks right at her and literally calls her “Hollywood Stargirl.” Roll credits. I just couldn’t help but feel hugely disconnected from the story this time around.

Gratefully, the performances here are great. Grace VanderWaaal is once again fantastic in the role of Stargirl, giving it her all and then some. You can truly see the passion she has for the character shine through in every scene, and it’s hard not to smile when she’s being herself on screen.

Uma Thurman is also in this film, delivering an unexpected yet great performance, although I do wish she had a little bit more screen time and more things to do.

Hollywood Stargirl has shimmers of greatness sprinkled in every so often, but for the most part, it’s a huge disappointment that doesn’t live up to the first.

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Ever since the age of nine, film and the art of filmmaking has been Caillou's number one passion. It all started when his parents took him to see Finding Nemo. Afterwards, Caillou had become heavily intrigued by film and some of his favourites include Coraline, The Empire Strikes Back and Hereditary.


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