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Superstar is a 1999 American comedy film and a Saturday Night Live spin-off about a quirky, socially inept girl named Mary Katherine Gallagher. The character was created by SNL star Molly Shannon and appeared as a recurring character on SNL in numerous skits. The story follows Mary Katherine trying to find her place in her Roman Catholic private school. The movie is directed by former Kids in the Hall member Bruce McCulloch. It stars Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Harland Williams, and Elaine Hendrix. SNL and Kids in the Hall alum Mark McKinney, who appeared in many of the Mary Katherine Gallagher SNL skits on TV, also has a minor role as a priest. Molly Shannon received a nomination for Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Actress – Comedy but lost out to Heather Graham in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
As a child, Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon) rescues a boy with a distinctive birthmark at the public pool. An orphan, she lives with her grandmother (Glynis Johns), and becomes obsessed with achieving “superstardom” and having her first kiss.
At St. Monica’s Catholic high school, Mary dreams of kissing Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell), the most popular boy in school, but her awkwardness brands her a social outcast. Caught kissing a tree, she is placed in special education, where she befriends Helen Lewengrub (Emmy Laybourne), and new “bad boy” student Eric Slater (Harland Williams) takes an interest in her.
A school talent show is announced with the chance to win a trip to Hollywood and be a movie extra. Mary’s grandmother forbids her from participating, but Helen urges her to audition anyway, as does a vision of Jesus (also Will Ferrell). When she tries to sign up, Mary finds herself in an altercation with head cheerleader Evian Graham (Elaine Hendrix), Sky’s girlfriend. Mary’s grandmother reveals the true reason she will not let Mary perform – Mary’s parents were stomped to death during an Irish stepdance competition.
Having witnessed the fight with Mary, Sky breaks up with Evian, who swears revenge on Mary. Auditioning for the talent show, Mary performs an impassioned rendition of “Sometimes When We Touch”. Evian dumps a bucket of paint on her, inspired by Carrie; humiliated, Mary flees the school with Slater. He brings her to the pool, revealing that he was the boy she saved years ago, and they bond during an impromptu swim. Returning home, Mary finds her grandmother has been informed that Mary earned a place in the talent show. Finally allowing her to perform, Mary s grandmother coaches her and a chorus line of her special education classmates.
As the talent show begins, Evian apologizes to Mary, revealing she and Sky will be dancing together. Mary resolves to perform not to impress Sky, but for herself. In a last-minute confession, Mary relinquishes her dream of becoming a star, instead asking to survive the performance for her grandmother’s sake. Mary and her friends perform to “Out Here on My Own” as Slater, summoned by another vision of Jesus, arrives just in time to watch. The record player inadvertently speeds up, and Mary falls – echoing her parents’ fatal performance – but, encouraged by Jesus, she successfully leads her friends through their performance.
Met with a standing ovation, Mary wins the talent show. Sky kisses her, but she rejects him, and kisses Slater. The film ends as Mary, now dating Slater, again kisses the tree.
- Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher
- Will Ferrell as Sky Corrigan/Jesus
- Harland Williams as Eric Slater
- Elaine Hendrix as Evian Graham
- Mark McKinney as Father Tylenol Ritley
- Glynis Johns as Grandma Gallagher
- Jason Blicker as Howard
- Gerry Bamman as Father John Insomnic
- Emmy Laybourne as Helen Lewengrub
- Jennifer Irwin as Maria
- Rob Stefaniuk as Thomas Smith
- Natalie Radford as Autumn Winters
- Karyn Dwyer as Summer Falls
- Tom Green as Dylan
- Chuck Campbell as Owen
Superstar received negative reviews from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 32% based on reviews from 74 critics, with the consensus: Dumb script and flat jokes made this another SNL misfire. On Metacritic the film has a score of 42% based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating mixed or average reviews . Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade C+ on scale of A to F.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated the film one star out of four, writing: Here is a portrait of a character so sad and hapless, so hard to like, so impossible to empathize with, that watching it feels like an act of unkindness. He furthermore described Shannon s character as hostile and not very nice , stating that She s one of those people who inspires in you the inexplicable desire to be hurtful and cruel . James Berardinelli of ReelViews, who gave the film two out of four stars, said that Molly Shannon is a likable, energetic performer and some of the jokes were actually funny , but there would still not be enough here to justify a feature-length movie . He also felt the film s attempts at developing Mary into something more than a two-dimensional caricature were pointless since the script doesn t show any respect for her . Dennis Harvey of Variety magazine gave a positive review, calling the film a pleasant surprise as he expected only mediocrity from another Saturday Night Live adaptation. He said it is amusing but uneven , suggesting it might build good word of mouth and do well but would be unlikely to reach the commercial success of Wayne s World.
|Plot||A nerdy Catholic schoolgirl, Mary Katherine Gallagher, dreams of superstardom.|
|Awards||Awards, 2 nominations|
|Writers||Molly Shannon, Steve Koren|
|Stars||Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Elaine Hendrix|
|Produced by||Albert Botha,Susan Cavan,Erin Fraser,Steve Koren,Lorne Michaels,Robert K. Weiss|
|Music by||Michael Gore|
|Cinematography by||Walt Lloyd|
|Film Editing by||Malcolm Campbell|
|Casting By||Phyllis Huffman|
|Production Design by||Gregory P. Keen|
|Art Direction by||Peter Grundy|
|Set Decoration by||Doug McCullough|
|Costume Design by||Eydi Caines-Floyd|
|Makeup Department||Marlene Aarons,Judi Cooper-Sealy,Debra Johnson,Jeanette Stawiarski|
|Production Management||David Rider|
|Second Unit Director or Assistant Director||George Bamber,Lisa Demaine,Jennifer Haufler,Siegfried Kopp,Stephen Montgomery,Pazz Neglia,Kristie Sills,Bob Warwick,Annabelle Wilczur|
|Art Department||Tamara Andrews,Darryl Beebe,Garth Brunt,Barry Isenor,Friday Myers,Dana Richardson,Derreck Roemer,Tom Thompson,Gordon White,Kelly Brine|
|Sound Department||Randle Akerson,John H. Arrufat,Bob Baron,Noah Blough,Alek Bromke,David B. Cohn,Scott Curtis,Michael Dressel,Thom ‘Coach’ Ehle,Jason England,Tammy Fearing,Jim Fitzpatrick,Christopher Flick,Robin Harlan,Brian MacLeod,Sarah Monat,Robert Morrisey,Don Munro,Myron Nettinga,Paul O’Bryan,Jeffrey R. Payne,Steve Pederson,Brent Robichaud,Robert L. Sephton,Randy Singer,F. Scott Taylor,David Williams,Kerry Dean Williams,Bob Wishnefsky|
|Special Effects by||Jim Peacock,Ted Shackleton,Ray Comiso|
|Visual Effects by||Anthony Bennett,Dennis Berardi,Jeff Campbell,Dale Codling,Drake Conrad,Debbie Cooke,Derek Grime,Rob Gyorgy,April Lawrence,Shawn Maher,Josa Leah ‘SDB’ Porter,Tony Willis|
|Stunts||Taryn Ash,Leigh Bianco,Marco Bianco,James Binkley,Brian Jagersky,Jamie Jones,Steve Lucescu,Kim Picerni,Jimmy N. Roberts,Erik Rondell,Brian Smyj,Jennifer Watson-Johnston,Wayne Wells,Regan Moore,Edward A. Queffelec|
|Camera and Electrical Department||Klemens Becker,Robert Cochrane,Yvonne Collins,Mark Cowden,Tim Davis,Christian Drennan,Richard Emerson,Darcy Gasparovic,Chris Helcermanas-Benge,Ryan McMaster,Alan Millar,David Niven,Beth Nobes,Brent Robinson,Morgan Sainsbury,Chris Schillinger,Michael Soos,Franco Tata,Brad Vos,Jasper Vrakking,David Watts|
|Casting Department||Robin D. Cook,Aric Dupere,Donna Dupere,Barbara Harris,Olivia Harris|
|Costume and Wardrobe Department||Jane Fieber,Carmen Hanson,Barbara Somerville|
|Editorial Department||Richard Alderete,Russell Langille,April Lawrence,Mark C. Pituch,Wendi Jill Raderman,Theresa Repola Mohammed,Mike Stanwick,Ron Wisman Jr.|
|Location Management||Avi Federgreen,Greg Holmgren,Luis Mendoza,Michael Tough|
|Music Department||Doug Besterman,Richard Bissill,Dave Clarke,Martin Erskine,Mike Fonte,Vic Fraser,The London Metropolitan Orchestra,Elliot Lurie,Jonathan Rees,Mike Ross-Trevor,Curtis Roush,Allan Wilson,Jellybean Benítez,Larry Hochman|
|Script and Continuity Department||Donna Croce,R. Emerson John|
|Transportation Department||Roland ‘Buddy’ McGrath,Bruce McLean,Manon White|
|Additional Crew||Stephanie L. Abramson,Jill Baron,Linda Callow,Stacie Carroll,Meredith Chislett,Eric Colvin,Jane Conway,Joanne Cossrow,Dan Curry,Danita DeSouza,Jay Floyd,Craig Goodwill,Rebecca Gray,Pamela Hackwell,Holly Harold,Gianoula Ikonomou,Mary Ann Kellogg,Sherri Kelly,Dannis Koromilas,Joan Krawczyk,Randy Kumano,Neva MacLeod,Cam Mansfield,Rina Payano,Karen Pidgurski,Irwin M. Rappaport,Dan Riley,Catherine Sample,Sharon Seto,Russell Steele,Dave Tommasini,Alisia Vinnitsky,Amy Wright,Steven Zander,Greg Ferris,Warner Strauss|
|Companies||Broadway Pictures, SNL Studios|
|Keywords||pink bra and panties,high school,blue panties,white panties,cheerleader uniform|