“Where were you when amateur critic Zach Alexander put the first Disney+ original film in his worst list of the year?” is what you might be asking yourselves years from now…even amid this pandemic. Just kidding, no one gives a shit what I think, but eveb among this COVID-19 shit, I will remember that STAR GIRL is the first Disney + original film that I didn’t much care for. For people like me…you…you always remember your first. Here’s the thing, well…two fold: first, the movie isn’t that bad, I’m about to write a review after this one of a movie called Lost Girls on Netflix, which was way worse than this. Secondly, A lot of you will like this anyway, especially if you’ve read the beloved book, and at the same time, I’ve just seen this kind of movie too many times to care at this point. It’s another weird, awkward, yet very nice and inspiring person being accepted at a school in a small town movie. She says her name is Star Girl, and at first the school thinks she’s odd (except for a boy, who is our narrator and has a crush on her the entire time) and keeps her at a distance, some of her actions (like singing nice songs) makes the school conform and the school at one point after she starts going there breaks down social barriers where everyone is accepted by everyone and no one dislikes each other, get bullied etc. But that’s the middle of the movie, and you know there has got to be some kind of conflict for this thing to stretch out into an hour and 47 minutes (really only an hour and 37, fucking Disney+ is still stretching out their credits to no man’s land), so other stuff happens, but I won’t be that spoilery type person. Suffice to say, her star shines bright, but then it doesn’t.
It just takes a long time to get to some kind of plot. Over the half of the movie it is just this boy, telling the audience about his crush and admiration for this really weird chick that dresses different and acts different and doesn’t give a shit. And he wishes he could still be that way, because he used to be weird with his clothing choices (really only his dead father’s really large tie). And I kept wondering where the fuck the movie was going. And instead of showing it’s hand card by card, it just lays them out on the table right after halfway through the film, and it didn’t feel like any of the hard hitting social lessons were earned very well. Especially when it reveals that in Star Girls good deeds, she does two things accidentally wrong (only one I really understood, the other seemed like really not a big deal at all, and something that the entire student body wouldn’t get upset over in real life). And the ending seems abrupt and not earned either with how depressing it is. The ending doesn’t make that much sense, and I’d get into it more but if you have any interest in this movie, and want to watch it, I don’t want to ruin it, especially if you are quarantined in your house and have nothing to do.
The acting all around is pretty good, even though the great Giancarlo Esposito’s (Gus Fring in Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul) character in this is completely pointless. Also, it LITERALLY looks like he stepped off the Better Call Saul set to shoot less than 10 minutes of this film. It had me laughing, the just dishevel his hair and point and shoot. Star Girl is played by Grace VanderWaal, who was a giant sensation on America’s Got Talent, musically speaking. Or so I heard, never watch that show. But she sings and plays a guitar/ukele in this and is really quite good. Who knew she could act? While I didn’t care much for the movie, I enjoyed her performance and could see her doing better films in the future. All in all, the movie has good messages about social conformity (kind of ironic since we are practicing social distancing right now because of the virus) but it just didn’t work for me. I was interested in the movie for the first ten minutes when the boy was explaining his chool life, but quickly got bored, and basically never recovered. However, I will always remember that this is the first Disney+ film that I didn’t really care for too much. Noelle and Timmy Failure were barely passable though, Togo and Lady & The Tramp being its highlights. So this is only the fifth film, take that for what you will. I’m sure there will be something worse down the line, in fact, I’m 150% positive there will be, I just wish at this point that Disney+ maybe would’ve debut with more original shit under its sleeve. All it really has original masterful content wise is The Mandalorian and the last season of Clone Wars. And no, that isn’t enough to earn this streaming service a star on the classroom board for me yet.