Superstar (1999) – Review

3 Stars

After the success of Wayne’s World Paramount studios had enough faith in genius producer Lorne Michaels to bankroll several more SNL themed movies. At the time of release, Superstar, was considered a god awful TV sketch to film adaptation. It’s not the best from SNL studios but most certainly not the worst, either. And by the film’s end, we’ve grown to like the odd lead character and her offbeat social behavior.

A mildly hyperactive Catholic school girl, Mary Catherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon) dreams of achieving fame and sharing a kiss with the hottest guy in school (Will Farrell). She sees her chance to achieve both goals when the school announces that a Catholic teen magazine will be holding a casting search for extras in a teen movie with positive social virtues. This leads to a painful audition for Mary Catherine Gallagher that results in the schools mean girl dousing her with paint at the climax of her performance ala Carrie.

In today’s Hollywood, I don’t think Superstar would get made. It’s ironic that a movie which was considered too earnest and tame is actually a subversive lightweight comedy with a message about faith and self-belief. It’s also very funny when dealing with the lead character’s sexual repression and obsession with fame. Molly Shannon honed the Gallagher character to a sharp point by the time the cameras rolled and with Steven Koren’s script, Superstar is a comedy that has gotten better with time.

Director: Bruce McCulloch
Stars: Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Harland Williams

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