Angels in Stardust, a Cliche-Filled Catalog of Bad Ideas
Vallie Sue (AJ Michalka), the wistful twentysomething hero of William Robert Carey's Angels in Stardust, is a dreamer.
She dreams of abandoning her trailer-park home and the irresponsible mother (Alicia Silverstone) whose carousing gets her down. She aspires to be a great writer, "like Agatha Christie," and decamp to the glamor of Oklahoma City. She confides in an imaginary friend, modeled on a TV cowboy, whom she pictures gracing a drive-in theater's long-abandoned big screen.
In other words, Vallie Sue dreams in clichés: Her life seems little more than a composite of shopworn thoughts and feelings, as if she were fashioned from spare parts on loan from romance paperbacks and daytime soaps.
Angels in Stardust
Written and directed by William Robert Carey
Opens February 21, AMC theaters
In fact, Vallie Sue has her roots in a different sort of tripe: Angels in Stardust is an adaptation of Jesus in Cowboy Boots, a novel written and (unsurprisingly) self-published by the film's director.
Described, in his Amazon author profile, as "an award-winning writer and director of television commercials," Carey was clearly the ideal candidate for adapting his own work — after all, only its creator could be expected to take it seriously.
Now, the film's occasional fits of comic inanity — locals ranting about aliens, conversations about two-headed dogs — are certainly embarrassing. But its attempts at melodrama are outright repugnant.
From broaching (and ultimately shrugging off) domestic abuse to murdering a pet cat for emotional effect, Stardust is a catalog of bad ideas. Carey must fancy himself a dreamer. This one should have remained a dream.
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