Starstruck [1982]

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan, Margo Lee, Max Cullen, Pat Evison
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Drama
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 105 minutes

Director Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, Little Women) is behind this absolute gem of a movie. Though the soundtrack is pure New Wave, Starstruck has a surprisingly traditional plot. Jackie Mullins (Jo Kennedy, doing her own singing) has just gotta sing! And her cousin Angus is determined to make her famous. The two team up with local band The Wombats to take their shot at stardom and try to save the family pub. Starstruck's buoyant spirit will remind viewers of fellow Aussie films The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Strictly Ballroom, but it has a charming quirkiness all its own. Armstrong fills the background with sly sight gags and throwaway lines ("I'm looking for something good for the cat." "How about a brick and a bag?"), and the choreography has a real sense of humor, right down to the water ballet number with inflatable sharks. But for all its deliberate silliness, Starstruck is a musical with real heart; the 1980s hairdos and giant kangaroo costumes can't cover up the movie's deep central conviction that dreams really can come true. --Ali Davis

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