Written By Darren
Rating 3.5 out of 5
Stars Fell Again is an enjoyable sequel that once again features the wonderful romantic pairing of James Maslow and Ciara Hanna, continuing the fun and romantic feeling of the first film with an all new story, resulting in another enjoyable romance film for the Valentine’s Day season.
Stars Fell on Alabama took me by surprise, which instantly had me excited to check out its sequel minutes after finishing the first film. And despite the Christmas setting that truly makes this film feel like a Hallmark production for the first twenty minutes, the same heart and romance that won me over in the first film takes over and characterizes the film once again.
Bryce and Madison are happily together, but on his trip to Madison’s family home for Christmas, Bryce is ready to ask for Madison’s parent’s permission to marry her and propose to her during the holiday season. But his plan is interrupted when Madison’s younger sister Harper gets engaged to her boyfriend of only a few months, with the wedding set for only a few days later. Bryce is then tasked with helping Madison organize and host Harper’s wedding, while Harper’s best friend Josh confronts his true feelings for Harper before it is too late, leaving Bryce trying to find both the courage and the time to ask Harper’s father’s permission to marry Harper and take the next step in his relationship.
Compared to the first film which was very much focused on Bryce and Madison’s relationship, there is a lot more story at play this time around. Not only do we have the further development of Bryce and Madison’s relationship, we have the introduction of a new love triangle as well as finding a way to bring back some of the fan favourite characters from the first film. While on paper it may sound like too much happening in a film that clocks in at under ninety minutes, the extra storylines provide a deeper character arc for Bryce who becomes the romantic advisor he so needed in the first film. Even with the first act being a little too cheesy with the holiday setting, the screenplay finds that heartwarming tone that had me falling in love with the first film by the second act. Once again there are no surprises to how this story is going to end, especially given the lacking romantic chemistry between Harper and her fiance Noah, but the writers pack the film with all the romantic and comedic moments that the audience expects this type of film to deliver. While I prefer the first film over this sequel, it’s a welcomed continuation of the story that has me wanting a third film based on where the story ends.
Just like in the first film, James Maslow and Ciara Hanna are excellent and bring the film to life. Their effortless and endearing romantic chemistry is back and on full display in this film, creating some tender moments as well as some spicier moments as they clash, most specifically during the cheesy but charming tap dance. Individually, Hanna is just as radiant as she was in the first film, making her a great leading actress for this type of romance film. Maslow on the other hand has a more developed role, which gives him greater dramatic material to work with that allows him to truly show his talents as an actor. His standout moment is his scene with Drew Moerlein’s Noah when Bryce provides Noah with life and romantic advice for dealing with his feelings for Harper. And unlike the first film that did not let Maslow sing despite his musical background as a member of Big Time Rush and letting Hanna sing, Maslow gets to break out his musical abilities. He gets to cover a Christmas song, showcasing his great singing voice even if it was not the crooner moment I was hoping for from him.
Joining the sequel as Harper and Josh is Ali Faulkner and Drew Moerlein respectively, and they have a lively chemistry on screen. They play off each other like two best friends would, but you can see that deeper passion for each other just beneath the surface, waiting to break free. It helps build this storyline of the film, especially with Tom Connolly’s Noah treating Harper as an item to check off on his life list rather than a romantic interest. While they don’t have the fireworks of Maslow and Hanna, Faulkner and Moerlein are a nice supplement to the film and help bring out the comedy aspect in this romantic comedy. Returning from the first film is Cecilia Kim, Johnnie Mack and Jon Eiswerth, each with a larger role. They provide the majority of the comedic relief of the film with their energetic personalities that make their characters the perfect supporting roles to the two main love stories at play.
Stars Fell Again proves that the stars have aligned yet again for this great little romantic comedy sequel. With a larger story providing more laughs, romance, and stronger character arcs for the lead characters, once again bolstered by the outstanding romantic pairing and individual performances of James Maslow and Ciara Hanna, Stars Fell Again will warm your heart and is the perfect date night movie.