At its core it is another fairy tale as Kalamazoo teenager Jessica Olsen (nicely played by Danielle Campbell) visits Hollywood and accidentally meets mega-star teen heartthrob Christopher Wilde (Sterling Knight). Knight is joined by his "Sonny With A Chance" cast-mate Brandon Mychal Smith.
The secret of this type of fairy tale lies in how well they connect with viewers; if the movie can get viewers to strongly identify with the character as she gets a huge rush from suddenly becoming part of the celebrity world, the viewer will get hooked. Then the challenge is to keep them hooked for as long as possible. "Starstruck" hooks you and provides this vicarious rush well past the midway point, in large part because of the twist of having Jessica rather under-whelmed by the circumstances. But eventually the wheels fall off, or in this case sink into an unlikely mud hole. The illusion bursts and everyone crashes back to reality because it is impossible to suspend disbelief when the AMC Pacer (Petunia) sinks into the mire. From that point on it is just overwrought melodrama until the movie finally recovers and goes out on a very nice reconciliation sequence.
Chelsea Staub is again unsuccessful at playing a mean girl (remember the "Bratz" disaster). Too much natural likability, you would think they would have figured this out by now.
Maggie Castle does a good job as Jessica's older sister Sara, who throughout most of the film is far more into Chad than is Jessica. Abbie Cobb plays Sara's friend AJ. If imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery, then Kay Panabaker should feel real good these days; as Cobb joins Bridgit Mendler and Meaghan Jett Martin (who can successfully play a mean girl) as yet another of Disney's bleached out Panabaker wannabe clones.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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