tek's rating: meh and three quarters

StarStruck, on Disney Channel
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Caution: spoilers.

Okay, this movie's pretty formulaic, and features the kind of music that pretty much only appeals to girls who are somewhere in the vicinity of their teens. But while the plot may be fairly unoriginal, it's not actually bad, I guess. Within the first minute I said to myself, "Already I don't like this," but I kept watching, and as it went on, it got a bit better, enough to make it to the end of the movie.

Anyway, there are these two teenage sisters from Michigan, Jessica and Sara Olson. Their family goes to L.A. to visit the girls' grandmother. Sara is excited about this, because she's hoping to meet a singer named Christopher Wilde, with whom she is totally obsessed. Her obsession annoys Jessica, who likes the guy's music, but feels it's ridiculous to act like you know someone you've never met, and be so excited, and all that. She's clearly more level-headed than Sara about celebrities, although we'll also learn that she may be unfairly judgmental of them, as she assumes Christopher must be spoiled and self-involved and have this totally perfect life with no real problems, or whatever....

But anyway, one night, Christopher is supposed to sing at his girlfriend, Alexis Bender's birthday party. (Alexis is clearly a celebutante who is everything Jessica assumes all stars are like, and clearly doesn't really care about Christopher as a person, just his status.) Well, Sara convinces Jessica to go with her to the party, to try to meet Christopher. Jessica waits in the car, but eventually goes looking for her sister. Instead, she ends up getting hit in the head by a door when Christopher is trying to get out the back without being spotted by the paparazzi. (Heh, she got struck by a star.) So, he takes her to the hospital to make sure she hasn't gotten a concussion, or anything. (Which she hasn't.)

That night, he hides out in Jessica's garage, to avoid the paparazzi, and the next day, they meet again at a Malibu beach, where Sara's gone to try to find him (unaware that her sister had actually met him). Once again, Jessica and Christopher take off, to avoid the ever-present paparazzi, and he shows her around L.A. They have a good time, though she still complains a lot, and doesn't really understand his complaints about his life. Meanwhile... his parents are his managers, and they want him to star in a movie (to branch out from his singing career), but the director (I don't remember hearing his name in the movie, but Wikipedia says it's Alan Smith, which I find amusing) demands that he keep a low profile (which is impossible to do without leaving his house), to prove he's serious about acting. And um... I dunno, the only "real" person in his life seems to be his best friend, Stubby (but even he seems to be an employee of Christopher's). So... Christopher really enjoys spending time with someone as "real" as Jessica, and at the end of the day, he wants to protect her from the craziness of his life, which she takes the wrong way, predictably enough.

But... in spite of his attempt to shield her, the paparazzi follow her home to Michigan, and she ends up realizing what he'd been trying to tell her all along, about the lack of freedom and privacy and honesty. And at the same time, he realizes Jessica and Stubby were right about the things they each told him, as well, about everyone having a choice. So he decides to make some changes in his life, and do what he wants for a change, instead of constantly doing all he can to avoid disappointing his fans (and his parents). As for how it all ends, there's a rather predictable scene... but I gotta give the movie props for not having the grand gesture work in and of itself. Anyway... I've said too much already.

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