Starstruck

 
Australia New Wave musical has lots of energy, plus smoking.
  • Review Date: July 29, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 1982
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Jackie must learn to be true to herself, even when music promoters try to force her to change her image to meet their idea of what a pop star should be.

Positive role models

Jackie is smart, talented, and looking for her big break to become a pop star. She's also loyal to her bandmates and a devoted cousin who's helping her career get off the ground.

Violence

Some heated bickering between friends.

Sex

A few kisses, some moderate flirting, and a few dances with suggestive movements. A couple relaxes in bed, with brief glimpses of her breast and his butt. A woman stages a publicity stunt where she walks across a tightrope in a costume that makes it appear as if she's topless.

 
Language

Infreqent language including "s--t," "shag," and "bum.''

Consumerism

Some car brands are mentioned, including Volkswagen and Jaguar.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several scenes take place in a family-owned pub, where people drink beer and other alcoholic beverages. Some characters smoke cigarettes, including a mature-for-his-age 14-year-old boy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main issue in Starstruck -- a pop-musical from the early 1980s featuring energetic song-and-dance numbers -- is drinking and smoking. The main character's family runs a pub, so lots of scenes are set around people drinking and smoking and a 14-year-old boy regularly lights up. Expect a bit of swearing (including "s--t") and some brief nudity while a couple is relaxing in bed together.

 

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What's the story?

Jackie (Jo Kennedy) has big hair, a big voice and big dreams -- of becoming a pop sensation. All she needs is a big break in STARSTRUCK, an Australian release from the early 1980s that features several spontaneous musical numbers that look like early MTV-style music videos. When a local TV producer catches her act, it looks like Jackie might be on the verge of the big time. But what will she have to give up to achieve success? And will she and her cousin/manager Angus be able to save the family business from the bank?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STARSTRUCK is a time capsule into 1982, with its hairspray, thin ties, bright tights, and vibrantly colored dance numbers. It's also got some catchy songs, as well as a few that haven't aged very well and seem like, well, old, so-so synth-pop numbers. The plot is pure hokum — hey kids, let's put on a show to raise money to save the family business! — but it's mostly set up as a framework for the musical sequences.

Kennedy is appealing as a spunky would-be singer, but the songs aren't as fun as they might have seemed three decades ago. Same goes for the film, which is most entertaining as a look at the past.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the message of the film. What kind of person is Jackie? How does she stay true to herself despite pressures? What are her character traits -- both positive and negative?

  • How well do you think this film has aged? Do the music and styles from the early 1980s seem stylish today, or dated?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 10, 1982
DVD release date:July 26, 2005
Cast:Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan
Director:Gillian Armstrong
Studio:Blue Underground
Genre:Musical
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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Quality

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  • 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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