2021’s Crappy Start: Our Review of ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’

Posted in What's Streaming? by - January 06, 2021
2021’s Crappy Start: Our Review of ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’

I don’t like being the kind of guy who begins reviews with digressions but here I am. Anyway, I binge watched Fleabag, a depiction of love so authentic that I resent my laziness in writing about it. I have to instead write about Stars Fell on Alabama, a depiction of love with its share too many of unnecessary contrivances. Anyway, the film is about Bryce Dixon (James Maslow), a Hollywood agent who reluctantly returns to 15 year high school reunion in the titular state. Everybody in that reunion is coupled up, which makes him ashamed of his single status.

So Bryce lies to his Black best friend David Jackson (Johnnie Mack) about having a girlfriend. He could have named some imaginary woman like normal losers do. Or he could own his singlehood and tell David and his small town to mind their own business. David, by the way, calls Bryce ‘Dixie,’ which I only allow because that name is ripe for puns. So Bryce lies and says that his only client, actress Madison Belle (Ciara Hanna), is the girlfriend. Madison has her own relationship woes, and when Bryce asks her to be his pretend girlfriend and go to Alabama with him, she surprisingly says yes.

Bryce and Madison arrive at his fictional hometown of Willow Something, Alabama. And the arrival scene has Madison looking out of their rental monster truck window like she arrived on Mars. It’s a small town, everyone has seen those before they turn 30, which is around how old they are. Also, this is my first 2021 film, and it doesn’t bode well for the cinematic art if the studios’ output looks like Hallmark Channel crap. South Carolina hosts this production and pretends to be Alabama, and it’s a mystery why they cornered themselves into that title instead of making the movie about South Carolina. Taylor Hicks makes an appearance as a, surprise, musician playing as Bryce, Madison, David, and the other locals do some line dancing.

There’s a big girl in the line dancing scene because diversity. Hicks doesn’t perform the song with the same title as the movie’s namesake because they couldn’t afford him. And I guess I have to say something nice about Stars. To Hanna’s credit, she brings a surprising toughness that separates her from the gossipy, airy voiced types in Willow Something. She makes Madison fit in with the male characters more. And Maslow makes Bryce seem like a genuinely nice guy. Too bad they’re stuck in a movie where the other characters don’t mind their business. The movie also positively frames the small town’s snoopy mindset where people ship their peers. After Bryce and Madison’s second fight in one day, David tells them to kiss and make-up.

Bryce and Madison have to kiss and make up in front of David? Leave the fake couple alone, man. Anyway, All three of Stars‘ conflicts arise from both Bryce and Madison kissing other people. Bryce kisses Charlotte (Jaclyn Betham), his former high school fling who’s now married to the mayor, and Madison locks lips with her musician ex (Zebedee Row) who flew to Alabama to rekindle their flame. The ex has a British accent and seems like a poor man’s Russell Brand because diversity. Anyway, all of these feel like low stakes, even when the fake couple starts to have feeling for each other. V.W. Scheich directs this romance that makes it seem like this is a paycheck job for him. And Bryce’s makeup looks as messy as the movie he’s in.

  • Release Date: 1/8/2020
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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