Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4
Once again, Hollywood delves into the deep files of "Saturday Night Live"
for a story idea, so no one should be very surprised when it turns out
to be like an extended TV skit. Molly Shannon reprises her SNL role of
gawky parochial school-girl Mary Katherine Gallagher, easily recognized
by her red hairband, thick horn-rimmed glasses, too-short plaid skirt,
sensible white underpants, and armpit-sniffing nervous tic. All Mary
Katherine wants in life is a kiss, a real bona fide Hollywood-style kiss.
She works at a video store as a "rewind girl," so she's keenly aware of
the open-mouthed passion that true love can inspire. But her prospects
look decidedly grim until she enters a "Let's Beat Venereal Disease
Talent Contest," sponsored by Catholic Teen Magazine, lured by the grand
prize of a free trip to TinselTown, where she's sure her dreams will come
true. The object of her affection is SNL's Will Ferrell, who not only
plays the most popular boy and best dancer at St. Monica's High School but
also a jiggy Jesus. Unfortunately, in director Bruce McCullough's close-ups,
thirtysomethings Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell look their age - and
they've left their teenage years far behind. After playing the character
for six years on SNL, Molly Shannon explains the appeal of Mary Katherine
this way: "I think people identify with her adolescent struggles because
she's hopeful. It's not like she's just a loser that's not going to
succeed, but she has hope and she's a fighter. She gets hurt and put down
but she never lets that defeat her. She just keeps going after what she
wants. She's a character with a lot of heart and passion." Nevertheless,
on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Superstar" is an awkward, dopey 3.
Mary Katherine's best suited for the small screen, so wait for the video.
Copyright © 1999 Susan Granger