STARSTRUCK tells a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, and all that jazz. It's a Disney flick that should charm its pre-teen viewers with its dose of wholesome. The two young leads - Sterling Knight and Danielle Campbell - carry the load. It's a cinch that the target audience will forgive the cliches peppering this tale of a pop star teen idol struggling for a measure of normalcy in his crazy Hollywood life. Parents ought not to have problems with their kids parking themselves on the couch to watch this film. I've seen worse teen flicks, and STARSTRUCK is actually better than most.
A level-headed teen from Michigan, Jessica Olson (Danielle Campbell) has to visit her grandma in Los Angeles, but she's not at all enamored with the holiday trip. Not as gaga, anyway, as her older sister, what's her face, who proclaims herself the number one fan of teen pop sensation Christopher Wilde (Sterling Knight). But it's Jessica who accidentally bumps into Christopher Wilde, and it's Jessica whom Christopher hangs out with for an evening and a day, as they dodge paparazzis, see the sights, all along squabbling and sniping and inevitably falling for each other. See? Tale as old as whatever...
It takes a lot to impress Jessica, and Christopher's celebrity status and whining about the paparazzis only maker her roll her eyes. But Christopher is a pretty good dude and flashes those blue eyes, and Jessica isn't a robot. But reality steps in, or reality as it is in Hollywood, anyway, and it drives these two apart. Will Christopher, who is so not in control of his life that he can't ever say no to anyone, let a good thing slip away? Jessica just wants him to be honest. It kills her that Christopher is so mired in his larger-than-life existence, so oblivious about the things that really matter. Christopher thinks he's protecting her from the media, plus there's this notion that his being seen hanging out with an ordinary girl would ruin his chances at a movie deal. Both Jessica and Christopher kind of have a point (that is, regarding Christopher's trying to protect Jessica's privacy; the not wanting to be seen with her because of the movie thing is kind of a jerk move). But this is a Disney movie, where sad endings don't exist unless you're a dog with rabies. The story's climax allows our pining protagonists to make up in glorious Disney fashion, and it takes place in a *gasp* high school dance. I know, right? This has absolutely never been done before.
There's a chance that Danielle Campbell may have been just a tad too cranky, but I don't think her witchiness will turn off the audience. She and Knight have a spark together, and this really is what makes this movie so watchable. The songs are whatever, although Sterling does deliver that terrific acoustical performance by the pool at the party. Brandon Mychal Smith, Knight's SONNY WITH A CHANCE co-star, provides some chuckles and dude even raps some and his flow is tight. I'm swayed to rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars.
This is the Extended Edition and here's the bonus material that's relevant to the film: the exclusive extended music scene - featuring the song "Got to Believe"; 3 music videos: Sterling Knight's "StarStruck", Anna Margaret's "Something About the Sunshine"; Stubby's "Party Up"; and "Rock Along" - an option on the DVD which allows you to sing along as the song lyrics pop up karaoke-style during the film's musical performances.