Modern Cinderella story is clean musical fun for tweens.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: February 13, 2010
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn the danger of judging a book by its cover, since neither Jessica nor Christopher turns out to be exactly what the other assumed.

Positive messages

The movie promotes positive themes of self-image, individuality, and honesty. A teen celebrity must make a difficult choice between playing to others’ impression of him to further his career and staying true to himself and treating the people he cares about with respect.

Positive role models

Jessica’s honest, unpretentious style inspires Christopher to re-examine the direction his own life is taking and make some changes in the name of happiness, rather than success. Sara’s infatuation with Christopher is revealed as the shallow obsession that it is.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Lots of flirting, and a couple of innocent kisses between teens.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this squeaky-clean Disney movie is a worry-free choice for tweens. Sara’s infatuation with Christopher -- while possibly grating on parents’ nerves -- may resonate with viewers and raise some issues about our celebrity-obsessed society and the role the media plays in it. The story promotes strong messages about honesty, humility, self-acceptance, and strength of character, inspiring tweens to have confidence in themselves and their beliefs, even if it means going against the flow.

What's the story?

A family vacation leads to the chance encounter of a lifetime when Jessica Olson (Danielle Campbell) runs into teen superstar Christopher Wilde (Sterling Knight) on a visit to Los Angeles. Despite the efforts of her celebrity-crazed older sister, Sara (Maggie Castle), to meet the singing sensation, it’s Jessica who accidentally makes his acquaintance -- and the unpretentious Midwestern girl’s nonchalance toward his status throws the pampered star for a loop. The more time Christopher spends with her, the more he likes who he becomes in her presence. But he faces a difficult choice between being true to his feelings and furthering his red-hot career.

Is it any good?


STARSTRUCK is bound to strike tween girls the right way with its tale of unlikely love between a handsome heartthrob and an “ordinary” girl. The modern-day spin on the Cinderella story is the stuff that girls’ dreams are made of, and Knight’s good looks and charisma certainly don’t detract from the story’s appeal.

True to Disney tradition, StarStruck manages to spin a romantic web without the trappings of anything sexually suggestive, so it’s mild enough for the tween set. Kids who tune in will also be inundated with positive messages about self-image, self-confidence, and strong character. The movie also raises a number of issues that tweens likely will relate to, including the repercussions of celebrity obsessions and the ability of the media to affect our impression of people and events.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss celebrities. Tweens: Can you relate to Sara’s obsession with Christopher? Do you have similar feelings toward a celebrity? What attracts you to him or her? How do you think their real personalities compare to your impression of them?

  • Tweens: How does the media influence your impression of stars? Why is our society so infatuated with celebrities? What are some examples of infatuation taken too far?

  • Talk about dating and romantic relationships: What are some essential qualities of a healthy relationship? What do you value most in a friend or partner? What characteristics could you not accept in a boyfriend or girlfriend?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 8, 2010
Cast:Danielle Campbell, Maggie Castle, Sterling Knight
Director:Michael Grossman
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:High school
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byandeverythingnice February 1, 2011

No good female role models.

A clean, fluffy, cornball movie that is appropriate for most kids, in the typical Disney fashion. However, I do NOT agree that the lead female character (Jessica, played by newcomer Danielle Campbell) is in any way a good role model. She is condescending towards her older sister, Sara, and shows almost zero sisterly affection or understanding for her celebrity obsession. It's perfectly normal for young girls to have their celebrity crushes, as long as they don't go overboard. I would sooner worry about girls who are "haters" and make fun of other people's hobbies or passions. The stereotypical portrayal of the "crazed fan" is getting so old. What's more disturbing however, is the way Jessica exhibits an extreme level of rudeness to a total stranger, famous pop star "Christopher Wilde" (played by Sterling Knight), on whom she passes every cliche judgment without bothering to get to know him first. He's good looking, rich and famous so he MUST be a jerk--right? Sometimes she is downright cruel, telling Christopher that his life is "fake", which is why he is not worth befriending. Eventually Jessica comes around and gives him a chance to prove his "realness", but her default behavior is unacceptable. Teaching kids to automatically latch onto the worst in people is the reason why they grow up with such cynicism and angst. I don't think any parent would wish for a daughter like Jessica, who showed unreasonable hostility towards a boy who was only trying to do the right thing by her (ex. bringing her to the hospital when he accidentally hurt her). Furthermore, the underage girls in this movie also engage in irresponsible behavior which would have disastrous repercussions in the real world. Going out to clubs, walking in dark alleys alone, and getting into a car with a stranger?! In HOLLYWOOD no less, just about the worst place for kids to pull those stunts. Positive side: Sterling Knight is a fairly talented actor who does well with the teeny-bopper material he's given. He is the only reason I watched this in the first place, but I hope in the future he's given roles that are less shallow or slapstick. I enjoyed his singing, especially the song, "Hero".
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN February 3, 2011

Strong comeback for Disney after epically failing with the High School Musical movies.

A nice refresher from past Disney movies. The movie may not have the most original plot, but it was still really good. Who knew Sterling Knight could sing? I loved the, what some would describe as, dry humor which isn't what I would expect out of Disney. The songs were good too, slightly kiddish for me, but then again I'm 15 and still watch Disney channel so I shouldn't be complaining...
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 June 17, 2010

Average DCOM

It was predictable to me. POSSIBLE SPOILER The only thing that is sexual is the romance, but the characters don't even kiss. END OF SPOILER But I think Jessica is a bad role model. She is judgmental and hostile towards Christopher (she assumes he is a jerk because he's famous) and has an attitude. She alak seems to hace these mood swings with Christopher (one minute she likes him and thr next she hates him). For some reason, Jessica goes riding around with Christopher even though she claims she hates him, not to mention it's dangerous to go with a stranger. Jessica is also rude towards her sister (though Sara is mean). Christopher was nicer and one of the few characters I liked.


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