15 February 2010 | bkoganbing
Going Hollywood From Kalamazoo
It struck me almost immediately while watching Starstruck that I'd seen this plot in an old movie, to be precise one that's almost 80 years older than this product from the Disney Studios.
Back in 1933 William Randolph Hearst produced a film for Marion Davies in which she played a star struck teacher of French in a girl's school who falls in love with a radio crooner. The crooner was none other than the biggest crooner of the day, Bing Crosby. So Marion goes off to Hollywood to meet her idol, in fact the name of the film was Going Hollywood.
Now I'm willing to bet that Sterling Knight and newcomer Danielle Campbell have no idea that they are stepping into roles originally created by Bing Crosby and Marion Davies. I really do think Going Hollywood was the inspiration for Starstruck.
Danielle is your average teen girl from Kalamazoo, Michigan crushing out on teen bubblegum idol Sterling Knight. Like Davies she goes cross country to meet her heartthrob. But Knight like most celebrities leads an insulated life, heavily insulated by the people who depend on him for a living including Knight's parents. The only one who gives him an occasional reality check is pal Brandon Mychal Smith, Knight's fellow cast member from Disney's Sonny With A Chance.
Chelsea Staub another Disney teen player from the Jonas series is in this as Knight's vapid and shallow Hollywood girlfriend. As for Sterling he's far from the self centered Chad Dylan Cooper from Sonny With A Chance. He's a decent soul inside, but that soul is way deep inside covered with layers of Hollywood tinsel.
There's been eighty years of change in musical taste and while I might not find the score here equal to what Bing sang and Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed composed, it's decent enough and I daresay with the marketing techniques of the Magic Kingdom will sell quite a few CDs.
Starstruck is easy enough to take, nothing terribly outstanding, but does show off its young cast to good advantage. Even Bing and Marion might be pleased.