Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 01/08/2021
Production Company: Samuel Goldwyn Films

James Maslow, Ciara Hanna, Mike Bash, Lesa Wilson, Johnnie Mack, Justin Clark and Taylor Hicks.

Director: V.W. Scheich Producers: V.W. Scheich, Cheryl Dillard Staurulakis, Rebecca Tucker, Ron Tucker and Jeffrey Allard. Executive Producers: Uyen Len, Douglas Vetter and Robert Windom. Screenwriters: Ansuman Bhagat and Robert Windom. Cinematographer: Wey Wang.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"Stars Fell on Alabama" is the first romantic comedy of the new year and although it's rather predictable, it's irresistibly charming and funny too.

James Maslow from the music group Big Time Rush plays a successful movie agent named Bryce Dixon from Alabama who is now living large in Hollywood. He's a real workaholic. That's a good thing especially for his biggest client Madison Belle (Ciara Hanna, TV's "FraXtur") who is about to land a huge movie deal.

The timing of Madison's big news may come while James is scheduled to leave L.A. and attend his high school reunion. He doesn't want to go to it, but all his old friends from Willow Valley High School are so proud of him being a Hollywood honcho and are looking forward to hanging out with him after all these years. What they really want to know is why Bryce isn't married yet.

Bryce doesn't even have a date he can take with him to the reunion. Remember, he's a workaholic. His office assistant Sarah (Cecilia Kim, Upcoming, "This Side Up") has a few suggestions for him that he doesn't want to consider.

He decides to ask Madison if she'll go with him and pretend that she's his girlfriend. She's completely on board. When Madison and Bryce arrive, everyone is blown away that their small-town boy did OK.

The more Madison talks to Bryce's friends, she discovers a lot more about him. Both are starting to enjoy the boyfriend/girlfriend charade. Maybe a little too much.

When Madison's on and off again rocker boyfriend Zane Thomas (Zebedee Row, "Ghost in The Graveyard") arrives unexpectedly, he blows Bryce and Madison's cover, but not before they realize that there's something special brewing between them. Now, they not only have to confront their very real feelings toward each other but explain to everyone why they initially lied about their relationship.

"Stars Fell on Alabama," from director V.W. Scheich ("Interwoven") grew on me. The movie title is from the pop/jazz/standard "Stars Fell on Alabama" and the song has been recorded by everyone from Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, to Jimmy Buffet and Harry Connick Jr. I especially liked the soundtrack. In fact, Taylor Hicks, from "American Idol" is in the film and performs a cover of The All-American Rejects' “Gives You Hell.”

Overall, "Stars Fell on Alabama" is light and breezy and at a brisk 87 minutes doesn't wear out its welcome.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "STARS FELL ON ALABAMA"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: There are a handful of Christmas movies that I absolutely must watch the week before Christmas.

They include: "The Preacher's Wife," with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. It's a remake of the 1947 film, "The Bishop's Wife" starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

Then there's of course, "It's a Wonderful Life," followed by "Frosty the Snowman," Rudolph...
Prior to his TV and film career, Michael Warren was a standout basketball player for which of the following colleges?
San Francisco State University--Gators
University California, Los Angeles--Bruins
Cal State University San Bernardino--Coyotes
University of San Francisco--Dons