Hollywood Stargirl features Grace VanderWaal in her second film as the irrepressible Stargirl. In this follow up to the original film, Stargirl’s ukulele and singing voice help her find friends and purpose in her new home in L.A.
Hollywood Stargirl begins with Stargirl and her mom (Judy Greer) moving to L.A. because her mom has a job as a costume designer on a movie. They move into an apartment complex built around an open courtyard.
Grumpy Mr. Mitchell (Judd Hirsch) lives under them. The owners have two sons. A grown one named Terrell (Tyrel Jackson Williams) has his own place. And Evan (Elijah Richardson) is a teenager Stargirl’s age.
When Evan hears Stargirl singing and playing the ukulele in her apartment, he throws rocks at her window. She goes downstairs to talk to him. He and his brother are making a movie. It has singing and dancing and he wants her to be in it. He wrote the script, his brother will direct. They’ve never made a movie before. They plan to start with a sizzle reel to submit to producers.
Stargirl isn’t sure about acting at first. But she loves to sing. When it’s open mic night, Evan takes her to a club where Terrell works. Stargirl sings a Beach Boys song a cappella. She attracts the attention of the woman at table six who sits there every night drinking Shirley Temples. Terrell complains about how much he hates waiting on table six, but Stargirl instantly recognizes the woman as Roxanne Martel (Uma Thurman).
Stargirl and her mom have and love the one album Roxanne Martel made. One of those songs would be perfect in the movie they’re making. Stargirl approaches her about the song. Roxanne tells her to write her own song.
Stargirl learns Roxanne’s story. It is similar to a story of her mother’s life. Both women were treated badly by the men in their industries years ago and have done other things since. What Roxanne has done can help with the movie.
Grace VanderWaal is innocent and charming in this. She’s overjoyed to have friends, to learn how to write songs, and participate in the dream of making a movie. She dresses in bright colors and patterns and walks around glowing like a tropical bird.
The film is about how a joyful person like Stargirl can change the people around her, and how dreamers should never give up on their dreams. This is the kind of film that makes you smile while you’re watching it. It’s heartwarming.
The film was directed by directed by Julia Hart, who also directed the original Stargirl. It’s rated PG, probably because Stargirl and Evan kiss a couple of times. But it’s definitely suitable for the whole family. It’s streaming on Disney+.
You can listen to the excellent soundtrack on all the music sites. Here’s the music video for the single from the movie.