Superstar (1999)

Unpopular Catholic school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon) dreams of being a superstar by taking part of the school’s talent show. She also dreams of kissing popular student Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell).

Director: Bruce McCulloch

Cast: Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Elaine Hendrix, Harland Williams, Mark McKinney, Glynis Johns

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related humor and language

Fun Fact: Based on an SNL character that Molly Shannon was portraying while she was on the show.

As ground breaking of a show that SNL is, the transition into film has been a rocky one at best. While some of the skits and or characters that were popular on the show were successful on the big screen, others have fallen flat. Unfortunately, Superstar falls under the latter category.

Superstar tells us of the story about a geeky girl that wants to be a superstar. What does she want to be a superstar of? Why does she want to be a superstar? Is it because she wants to be the underdog that we all root for to overcome the obstacles of the antagonists? Well I really don’t know because they never really focus on those questions in the movie. In fact we don’t really get to know the characters that well because they just feel like stereotypes.

To simply put, this film isn’t funny, and it actually is more mean spirited. The supposed jokes are not funny and more insulting to the characters. I get it, it’s supposed to be bullies picking on the supposed losers. I love movie villains, and some of them are the most memorable characters of all time. This film’s antagonists are awful, and I hated them. They’re not memorable and every time they were in a scene I would wish they would cut to the next scene without them. That’s the wrong kind of reaction you want out of a viewer. When I watch a film I want to see more of the villains if they are well written characters. In Superstar they’re your stereotypical jocks that way too over the top. All of that makes them forgettable.

It seems like people have been complaining lately about film length. Are movies too long now and where should they cut to make run times flow better. Superstar clocks in at 82 minutes, which for a comedy feature is pretty standard. They thing is, this movie doesn’t feel like 82 minutes. It feels more like three hours on how everything is paced. It’s slow and it would be better off as a regular SNL feature that it originally started as. The problem there lies with a lack of a script. If your script only has about twenty minutes of source material, how are you going to fill another hour?

One thing I want to commend is that Molly Shannon had passion for this project. You can see that she is having a great time with the role and source material. By all means that’s what you want, someone that’s passionate about something making a movie and for the source material. Passion projects don’t always become a success though.

Overall, Superstar just isn’t a good movie. It’s not one of the worst that I’ve seen that’s for sure. It’s slow paced and it feels like it takes forever to get to the climax which is predictable from the beginning. The script doesn’t feel like it’s well written because there really isn’t any character development or drive for the story. The main antagonists are awful and it will make you want to forget about them. A comedy is supposed to be funny, but this one isn’t funny due to the jokes being more mean spirited. While I’m happy that Molly Shannon tried and her performance wasn’t bad, just all the major details fall flat for it to be a recommendation.

Verdict: Miss

 

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