“Girls have a button, boys have a pole. Wicked touching takes its toll.”
Saturday Night Live has never been able to resist running popular characters into the ground. No matter how one note or unsustainable a character might be, if it gets enough laughs, it will reoccur and reoccur and reoccur over and over and over again, until everyone is exhausted by it. Then SNL will insist on trotting the character out a few more times just to make sure they’ve totally burned it out. Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher did pretty much the exact same schtick every time she appeared. A story of high school awkwardness, she’d stick her hands in her arm pits, then smell her fingers, before a big prat fall to end on. It’s barley enough to sustain a five minute sketch, so of course, it had to be drawn out into a feature length movie with Superstar.
Because the movie’s too lazy to start any other way, it opens with voiceover from Mary (Shannon) explaining her character in detail and giving her entire life story up until that point. A social outcast, she lives with her grandma in the ugliest house in the street. A life time of being shunned has left her with one, simple wish, to be kissed by a boy. And she decides the best way to accomplish that is to become a movie star.
At her catholic high school, she dreams of resident dreamboat, Sky (Will Ferrell). But he’s already dating hot, mean girl, Evian (Elaine Hendrix). Things start to look up however, when Mary is put into the school’s special education program where she meets her first, real friend, Helen (Emmy Laybourne). And even though she continues to pine for Sky, Mary starts to realise that he might not be so perfect after all, especially once she meets the sweet and sensitive Slater (Harland Williams).
I didn’t expect much form the story of Superstar. I didn’t expect anything filmically impressive or interesting from Superstar. But with Ferrell and Shannon, I did expect at least a few laughs from Superstar. But they never came. It’s Pat might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, but if it had anything going for it at all, it was its weirdness. As shit house as it was, It’s Pat at least tried to do something unique and strange. As far as I could see, Superstar doesn’t really attempt to do anything. Worse than not being funny, I never even spotted any attempts at comedy.
The story is paper thin, the characters are cardboard cutouts and the premise is stretched too thin before it even start. And I could have lived with all of that, if it had at least made me laugh a few times. Instead, it takes naturally funny performers like Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon, and somehow makes them boring.