For those who feel that movies should be more like TV, SUPERSTAR, the
latest movie by director Bruce McCulloch (his last was the abysmal DOG
PARK), is a movie-length version of a "Saturday Night Live" skit.
Starring Molly Shannon as the geeky Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine
Gallagher, the film concerns Mary's desire to turn superstar so she can
get her life's one wish, a big, movie-style kiss.
Featuring Hollywood's favorite whipping boy, the Catholic Church, the
irreverent film asks such questions as whether the host at the Mass is
low-fat. A Jesus-like figure, in the form of a hippie deity, appears
periodically in a vision to guide Mary. His advice includes "get
jiggy." What this means exactly remains somewhat of mystery, but it has
a sexual connotation.
When just 10 years old, Mary prays, "Please God, send me someone to make
out with." The sexually charged film pushes the envelope of its PG-13
rating as in such scenes as the one in which Mary pushes up her breasts
and has them talk to each other. It also skirts the rating by showing
lots and lots of panties and some bras, but no actual nudity.
Relying on slapstick for most of its humor, a typical scene occurs in a
confessional. "My feelings would best be expressed in a monologue from
.... ," Mary begins as she frequently does. Launching off into yet
another imitation of a movie scene, she gets so much into character that
she gathers the attention of all of the other students in the church
with her loud voice. The conclusion of this comedic episode has her
knocking down the confessional door due to her acting exuberance.
A recurring scene has her French kissing a tree, as she turns orgasmic.
As her tongue went deep into the tree, our audience went wild.
Steve Koren's script puts Mary in special Ed so that he can include lots
of jokes aimed at "retards." Am I the only one who doesn't find the
word "retard" funny?
The cast includes Will Ferrell as BMOC Sky Corrigan, Elaine Hendrix as
the proudly bulimic blonde Evian, Emmy Laybourne as the braces-wearing
jock Helen and Glynis Johns as Mary's wheelchair bound Grandma. Lest
you think they missed ridiculing everyone, don't worry. There's a gay
guy, a stutterer, etc.
For all of its silliness, its crudeness and its cheap shots, the movie
does have a few nice moments. Eventually, as it throws every joke it
can think of at you in the hope that you'll like something, it almost
wins you over. Still, a 5-minute comedy sketch of the same material
would be preferable.
SUPERSTAR runs just 1:22. It is rated PG-13 for sex-related humor and
language and would not be appropriate for kids under 13.
Copyright © 1999 Steve Rhodes