Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Like everyone else in the world right now, I’m constantly looking for more things to watch on streaming services. Thank goodness Disney+ just arrived in the UK because it is the dream quarantine companion. I was a major Disney Channel fan back in the day and have been desperate to watch some of my favourite films and shows whilst being stuck at home.
I started with Starstruck, the 2010 film starring Sterling Knight (Sonny With a Chance) and Danielle Campbell. The plot is simple: Teen pop sensation Christopher Wilde hits Jessica Olson, your everyday chick from Michigan, in the face with a door, and they fall in love. Most of the plot is consumed with Christopher’s desperate attempts to hide himself and his blooming relationship with Jessica from the paparazzi, which eventually collapses and he realises he likes Jessica enough to face the media. Cute!
The best part of this film is the soundtrack. Even though neither of the main stars actually sing on the soundtrack, the music carries the storyline. I found myself looking forward to and singing along to the musical numbers which are good but don’t overshadow the plot too much. Of course the soundtrack isn't as strong as pure musicals such as the High School Musical and Camp Rock films, but it's definitely not the worst from Disney Channel’s repertoire.
Disney Channel has a habit of making the quirky background character the only good character in their films. In this case, Jessica’s sister Sara is the funniest and fleshed out character. She has a full character arc, wild costumes, and some funny lines. Despite this, Danielle Campbell plays her role with an emotional depth which is pretty unusual from DCOMs (which rarely dive into emotions too intensely). In general, all of the performances in this film are relatively good, from the cute Grandmother to Sara’s rude friend: everyone provides a sufficient performance.
The costumes in this film scream 2009 Taylor Swift, and I loved it. We had floral skater dresses, denim jackets, thick belts, and layered necklaces. Every look threw me back in time and I was loving it, 10/10 to the wardrobe designer on this set!
In general, as a first DCOM that I have seen in about 8 years, this was really good. It’s cliche and ridiculous, but when you look at the film for what it is: it’s good! The script had an unexpected emotional maturity whilst conforming to your typical disney cliches.