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By Alan Ng | June 29, 2020

There’s one reason this review of Disney’s Stargirl even exists, and you can thank my wife for it. I’m clearly not in the film’s target audience of  tweens, but I “owed one.” So here we are. Occasionally, when forced to do something, you can find a little treasure. If you persevere, Stargirl will grow on you and ultimately pays off.

Based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl is the story of Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere). As a young boy, Leo’s beloved father passes away, and as a way to honor his memory, Leo takes up his passion for quirky ties. The necktie represents his way of standing out from the crowd as proudly declaring oneself as being unique. That is until a moment of bullying quickly teaches Leo that it’s best to stay quiet, keep your head down, and blend into the background.

“…has a preference for the colorful and glittery…also a nice person, always looking for ways to cheer up her fellow students.”

Jump to today. Leo is a high school student and has successfully learned over the years to blend into the background. He’s the producer of his best friend Kevin’s (Karan Brar) student talk show and member of the high school band. Go Mudfrogs!

Soon, Leo’s life is forever changed with the arrival of new student Stargirl (Grace VanderWaal). To say that Stargirl is unusual is an understatement. Let’s ignore the name for a moment. Stargirl has a preference for the colorful and glittery in her appearance. She’s also a nice person, always looking for ways to cheer up her fellow students. My kid and I wondered if she’s an alien; she’s not…maybe.

Stargirl (2020)

Directed: Julia Hart

Written: Kristin Hahn, Julia Hart, Jordan Horowitz

Starring: Grace VanderWaal, Graham Verchere, Giancarlo Esposito, Karan Brar, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Stargirl Image

"…a long, laborious setup which leads to a fantastic ending..."

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  1. Deborah Downer says:

    I wouldn’t call a movie about 16-year olds a tween movie – it at least centers around the mid to late teens. No matter, I’ve always rejected the idea that a layered film like this is intended only for the age demographic of its protagonists. Why can’t it be for anyone who remembers what it was like to be sixteen? I do, and I wondered during the film if a young person who maybe hasn’t yet experienced first love can relate to the retrospective approach to the film’s narrative.

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