Stargirl Poster

Stargirl (2020)

Comedy | Romance 
Rayting:   6.2/10
Country: USA
Language: English

A boy becomes intrigued by a mysterious and quirky student named Stargirl and spends his time trying to know more about her.

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User Reviews

Blk_Ne190 6 July 2020

I hadn't really heard much about this movie so I didn't know what to expect.

Since it was in Disney Plus I wasn't sure if it was going to be a Disney channel original or like a cinema release type of movie.

I think it falls in the middle. It has the squeaky cleanness of a DCOM but the production is more a cinematic release.

It was perfectly fine and isn't as bad as say a Netflix teen movie. It was a bit cheesey at parts but it had a lot more heart. And I think that is this movies strongest asset, that it has heart in buckets full.

I love a outcast "weirdo" story and I appreciate that for people who feel the same way it can help them feel validated but I found this characterisation a little too caricature at Times not to say the lead was bad I thought she was really good. It was more the screenplay that made the character do like cartoony actions that I just don't think ring true.

I also think the movie should have focused more on Stargirl and not on the male lead. This should have been her movie but we only follow her through the eyes of him. He could still be in the movie but it should have been focused on her and her life and have her be our main character.

It's perfectly fine so if you have Disney plus you could watch it but i wouldn't buy it solely to watch this.

Brandon_Walker_Robinson 13 March 2020

Every so often there comes a film or film franchise where people say they can't imagine anyone else in the role, or it's as if the role was meant for them. You know who I'm referring to: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow... the list goes on.

Well, in the midst of the exuberant young career helmed by one Grace VanderWaal (who became an overnight sensation from a talent show with her uplifting lyrics, raw vocal talent and a wooden ukulele), in comes a film whose screenplay is adapted from a 20-year-old novel that hearkens closely to the livelihood of a then 15-year-old girl.

Grace, much like Stargirl (and hereon out I can simply use the pronoun "she" to interchangeably refer to both), has a magic touch: in she comes, out she goes, and everyone is positively affected by her presence and actions. Always humbled, the cogwheels in her head turn differently where she sees light as the spark and answer to all of life's secrets, even if it means that normalcy falls into the wayside of obscurity. She lives in the moment, for the moment. She is never seeking instant gratification, and although she yearns for acceptance, she will not allow herself to be ill-fated by what others deem to groom her to be.

And yet, this film is not even about Stargirl. We see the film through the lens of the other co-star named Leo, who spends the early parts of the film settling for what small role he can blend into in his small school in a small town, all of which are notorious for accomplishing next to nothing. Stargirl's arrival is something of a stroke of magic to some, yet thematically we can all agree that she merely taps the potential that every character instills inside of them.

As far as the movie itself goes, it's pretty decent. It held my attention, and even though it works through minimalistic plot development, it is meant to serve the characters more than anything else. Unfortunately, I think some of the character structure was a bit off with the pacing, and I think the best thing that would have saved it is if this went the way of a TV series instead. I'm fine with it being a film so long as I can feel the passage of time within a few minutes span and fill in any gaps, but otherwise this had some weird off-beat moments.

Anyway, Grace really starts to disappear as Stargirl. When I first heard she was cast for the role, I thought for a while this would be one of those cutesy "Aww, look at little Grace doing her thing in a movie!" moments. Nope, instead she played a character (who could sing and play the uke, but that's okay) and she played it quite strongly. I was proud to see that, and would love to see her in other roles again. They don't always have to be leads and they don't have to involve music, and I would most certainly like to check it out for myself.

Sit back and enjoy this one, but don't expect the world of it. Just let it happen. That's exactly how Grace would want you to watch it, too.

dewinbarnette 17 March 2020

I have to disagree heartily with most of the reviews previously posted. This movie is a quiet testament to what adolescents all face every single day- the simple, and extremely complex, daily tug of war between being whom you truly are and whom others want to see. I am a HUGE fan of the books, and, while a lot of things were changed for the movie, I felt the necessity of the changes. The movie offers a quiet, simple space for contemplation of who the viewer truly is. A question more adolescents-and adults-need to be asking themselves. Beautifully done.

aldri-39576 14 March 2020

I very much enjoyed this movie, but I never read the book, so I have no idea how true it is to the original. Anyway, some are already complaining Stargirl here is not quirky enough. Others are saying the whole quirkiness thing is old. You can't win. In reality, it seemed a lot of the stuff that was in the book - Stargirls quirky tendencies and the students reactions to it, was simply left out. Maybe you don't like that, but it seemed to make for a less cliched movie to me, one not obsessed with typical teen bullying, mocking the outcasts, etc. Both Stargirl and everyone else were given mostly normal personalities. I expected Hillari Kimbell to be like a typical bully, for example. She absolutely was not, and there was so much dignity to her character. Are Hollywood's bully tropes changing?

Yeah, so the movie Stargirl focuses more on visuals and music rather than on encounters between Stargirl and students. In fact, Stargirl has almost no interaction at all with any students outside of Leo. Be prepared for this as I wasn't. What this means is that Stargirl's popularity and then fall from grace is expressed somewhat obliquely, through football cheers, high fives, or through Leo only. The other students are pretty much invisible as supporters or detractors (save Hillari).

OK, but now on to the love story which dominated the film more than I expected. Leo's backstory was a bit cheesy, but maybe I'm not a porcupine tie kind of guy. Thats OK - otherwise, I very much appreciated his character and how he was grounded in reality unlike Stargirl who's idealism made her prone to making occasional errors in judgement. And Stargirl - this was singer songwriter Grace VanderWaal's film debut - she was wonderful. The vast majority of her time on screen she is engaging, smart, buoyant and childlike in her joy, or just plain mesmerizing. And somehow her pet rat Cinnamon comes to embody her adorable qualities as you will see in one particular early scene. Later, she changes somewhat and you see her sadness and loneliness, as well as stubborn insistence on being herself. At times, it was compelling. Overall, the love story blossomed nicely (after an improbable start (a little too much of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl coming out of nowhere) and both Leo and Stargirl are given plenty of screen time. This was a touching first romance.

Finally, the movie for me peaks midway through as we delve more deeply into Stargirls character and her vulnerabilities are exposed. She tries to conform, but never really shows she knows how to make friends (showing her actually trying to do this might have been good, BTW), something she says she wanted to do. That was sad - I know the experience. It is actually a trait common in autistic people, and possibly Stargirl might have been on the spectrum. So, but this is what made the ending appropriate but also a bit unsatisfying, because she never really got to know any of the people she was dancing with so gleefully. I guess they saw her as a somewhat mystical power rather than a friend. And Leo's ending song just seemed a little of out of character for him. We do not really know what his hopes and dreams were in life other than to reclaim part of his childhood. And as the more grounded character in the relationship, are we as interested in his growth as we are in Stargirls?

Overall, in conclusion much of this movie I didn't expect, but in a good way. In talking about it, I bring up the occasional negatives, but in reality i loved most of it. It was be

spaul-30443 14 March 2020

Almost like the story itself, Grace (Stargirl) is a spark of character and wonder surrounded by average characters and directing.

I've met people like Stargirl in the real world, and it is amazing how much one person can transform everyone around them. And when they're gone, the magic escapes. This film tried to portray that but sometimes dumbed it down to be a little too literal. It also made a couple character leaps, especially in the second act that just didn't sit right, they were poorly timed or portrayed.

Overall, solid effort. And great start for Grace in an acting career.

SnoopyStyle 5 April 2020

Leo Borlock moves to a small Arizona town with his mother after his father's death. His new school is a place lacking in hope which is highlighted by the school's empty trophy case. He joins the marching band and has his group of nerdy friends. One day, homeschooler Stargirl Caraway (Grace VanderWaal) joins his class. He falls for her immediately and her quirky hopefulness infects the entire school.

I have to admit that I thought this has something to do with the DC character. That went away quickly as I watched the movie. Then I hoped that this has something to do with Starman. That would have been interesting but not to be the case. So we march on. This is a rather standard coming-of-age teen movie with a rather standard manic pixie dream girl. It is not something to be hated. The kids are adorable. I don't know anything about Grace VanderWaal. I watched a couple of America's Got Talent episodes but not her's. She has a sincerity which is very endearing in a manic pixie dream girl and her singing has the same sincerity. The boy is equally endearing. They make this movie endearing. I do have to say that the drama isn't that well written. I do not like that the whole school turned on her over leaving the game. It needs setting up. It needs magic. It needs fantasy. The whole school needs to be under her spell. It comes late to the game. Flowers need to be sprouting under her feet. Song birds need to be dressing her in the morning. That turn needs help and also it needs to be shown not told. On the other hand, I like the bike idea and that's an easier concept to make the dramatic turn. It is more internal and more about her character. It is grounded and it doesn't need the big setup. It does need the little brother. Quite frankly, it fits. It fits the birthday ties. It fits her and it doesn't need fantasy. I'm not going to claim that this is breaking any new ground. VanderWaal could have an interesting career although I don't know if she is going to breakout. This is a nice Disney movie for the whole family.

A_Different_Drummer 15 March 2020

One of the great ironies of this film is that the choreography was done by Mandy Moore who, not so long ago, would herself have been starring in this "vehicle." That said, VanderWaal, a legit child phenom if ever there was, acquits herself well in an under-stated performance, doing most of her numbers almost acapella. The film starts slow with no gimmicks and builds nicely. VanderWaal does indeed have a future in film. If she wants one.

mnmgessel 14 March 2020

I read this book several times with students and really enjoyed the fun upbeat characters. Loved the story. Loved the coming of age tale. The movie cut short the story to the point that the characters had little appeal. Stargirl is a tough person to cast. The casting was good but the feel of Stargirl was not there. The audio had some weird things going on, the editing was choppy and had a feel of throwing things together over a weekend. Love the book, wanted to love the movie.

john-98444 14 March 2020

A beautiful movie, full of little moments. Grace was a joy to watch. Timeless it is.

grynai 14 March 2020

I'm a big fan of Grace, and I watched the film because of her. I also think Karan might have a good future career. So, I even found and read the book on which the film is based. The book was ok, although I don't understand its popularity - there are much, much better books for children and teens, that have more substance, more depth and less cliches. Perhaps young teens who haven't been exposed to any better literature enjoy it, and that's fine.

But no matter how much I wanted Grace's debut to be a success, I can't lie to myself or others - it's a really, really badly made film. Being a filmmaker myself, it almost makes me angry that someone actually got paid for directing and producing it. I mean, for someone who has all these resources to produce a result like this is mind-boggling. If I hadn't read the book, I don't think I'd even fully understand what was going on.

It's like they completely disregarded all of the emotional impact of the events in the book, all of the buildup, and just skimmed though a series of events for the sake of putting them on screen. Aside from her meticulously designed colorful outfits, you get zero sense of how quirky Stargirl is (the most important trait of her character), how involved the guys are in the talk show that they're hosting, and basically anything else that's supposed to matter. It's like they weren't even trying to create an emotional connection to any of the characters, because not one of them is even remotely interesting.

Another huge problem with the film is the sound design. I'm not sure why it is like it is, but it's bad. It's flat, the actor's lines are mumbled, and there are very little atmosphere sounds. This makes for very awkward viewing.

Lastly, I doubt that young people will like the film, except for maybe very young teens or children (but even they probably won't have the patience to watch it till the end because it's so emotionally flat). This is because no teens are the way they are portrayed in the film. It feels like a really old person's vague idea of how teenagers talk and behave. There's one place in particular that made me snort loudly, it was when Leo asked Archie "is she magic?" It was so completely random and silly, mostly because, like I mentioned before, there was zero sense of Stargirl's quirkiness or the profound impact she'd made on everyone. It's not completely unrealistic that a 16 year-old guy would as a question like this, but there should be a really, really good reason for it and a serious buildup to the moment where he asks it. Here, it was like: wait, what?

Lastly, for anyone who's looking for a film on a similar topic, I suggest to skip Stargirl and watch "Bridge to Terabithia" (2007) instead. Very similar story, but a much, much more engaging film that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Movie Scene

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