Movie Review: Stargirl
Grace Vanderwaal shines in her magical acting debut in Stargirl, now streaming in Disney+.
Stargirl is a coming-of-age story about a teen (Graham Verchere) who develops a budding romance with Stargirl Caraway (Grace Vanderwaal), a free-spirited new student who makes a big splash on her first day of school.
With virtually every movie theater across the country and much of the world closed for who knows how long due to the coronavirus epidemic, I (and everyone else) will be focusing much on streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.). One new movie that just dropped on Disney+ is the new coming-of-age musical Stargirl, based off of Jerry Spinelli’s YA bestseller about a unique, and a seemingly magical girl who changes a lonely teen boys life forever.
Director Julia Hart and writers Jordan Horowitz and Kristin Hahn manage to bring a sweet and smart approach to the adaption that mirrors films like Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles with that a sprinkle of Disney magic. Hart knows talent when she sees it, with Season 11 America’s Got Talent winner Grace Vanderwaal as the title character and Graham Verchere, who plays Leo, the lonely teen who falls for her. The two have immediate chemistry and it helps brings the story to life.
Stargirl truly shows the real world teens, and its refreshing to see that the usual stereotypes are nowhere to be found. There is a scenario where a key player from the opposing football team gets hurt and Stargirl rushes offer to help, much to her classmates’ dismay, things change and get a little tense but nothing extreme happens to create unnecessary drama for a story that can stand on its own. Vanderwall makes her acting debut and she is just perfect, musically and she has natural acting chops that never make her look like she is trying too hard. Verchere is also a natural talent, and these two dominate the screen together.
Stargirl is a promising film for Disney+ and is a great example of what they continue to have up their sleeves.
Critic Rating: 5/5 stars
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