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11/30/16

SUPERSTAR - REVIEW


The SNL spin-off movies are a patchy affair, to say the least. For every Blues Brothers, there's a Blues Brothers 2000, for every Wayne's World, there's an It's Pat: The Movie. Superstar sees Molly Shannon reprise her Mary Katherine Gallagher role from the show.

Molly Shannon's creation is awkward and odd yet egomaniacal and driven: she's deeply unpopular at the Catholic school she attends but remains convinced that she is a "superstar" and that her big break is coming. Cue lots of jokes about how desperate she is and some loud slapstick where she crashes into things. There's also a romantic subplot as she soon becomes interested in the school's most popular hunk Sky Corrigan, played by a reliably entertaining Will Ferrell. Story-wise, it's all rather predictable, mostly because it parodies teen movies centred around a school competition and the clich├ęs of the genre are so familiar they leave little in the way of surprises. There's admittedly not much else they could have done with this character but Napoleon Dynamite this isn't.

While Shannon can be very funny, Mary Katherine Gallagher just did not warrant her own feature film. Superstar has nothing new to say and most of its jokes fall flat. Like it or not, at least A Night At The Roxbury made good use of its leads, two of which being Shannon and Ferrell, by the way. That movie maybe didn't need to exist either and not having Jim Carrey in it cost it some major points but it was fun and most of its jokes, surprisingly, worked. Here, you keep waiting for something unexpected and clever to happen but it never does. Not that the film is particularly bad, it does have a couple of funny moments, but it's very underwhelming and considering the talent involved, that's a real shame. If anything, the best joke in the entire movie is that the secondary school students are all played by people over 30.

If you're looking for a great SNL movie, those do exist but Superstar isn't one of them. It's amusing in short bursts but the central character is not likeable or all that funny and the plot lacks creativity. Maybe watch it once on Netflix if you're a fan of SNL but don't expect to remember it the next day.

Not so super.

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