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Film / Superstar

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Superstar is a 1999 comedy directed by Bruce McCulloch and starring Molly Shannon, based on the Saturday Night Live sketches featuring Shannon's character Mary Katherine Gallagher.

Mary Katherine is a teenage Irish-Catholic schoolgirl who dreams of being kissed, and decides the only way this can happen is to become a star. She daydreams all the time, so she is moved to the special education class at St. Monica High School.

A Catholic magazine is hosting a talent show — the Let's Fight Venereal Disease Talent Contest — at her school, and first prize is a role in a movie with good morals. Mary Katherine sees that her big chance is the talent show, and decides to enter even though her grandmother (Glynis Johns) has forbidden it. Mary Katherine's competition is head cheerleader Evian (Elaine Hendrix), who is dancing with the jock Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell), the object of Mary Katherine's affections.


When Grandma Gallagher finds out that Mary Katherine went behind her back and enrolled in the talent show anyway, she tells Mary Katherine the truth about how her parents died: They were stomped to death in an Irish step dancing competition.

Despite this, Grandma Gallagher decides to help her win the talent show, and Sky's heart. However, another classmate, Slater (Harland Williams), is after Mary Katherine's heart.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Big Man on Campus: Skye, who's the football captain and a great dancer.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The story takes place in the town of Besamee ("Bésame" means "Kiss me" in Spanish).
  • Black Comedy: Mostly the parts which refer to how Mary Katherine's parents died. Also when Slater mentions how his parents died.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: At the audition for the talent show. Filled with paint, not pigs' blood.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: The schoolgirls are required to wear skirts with their wardrobe, though the skirts are really short and don't stop above the knee, leaving little to the imagination.
  • The Cheerleader: Evian, who bullies Mary Katherine and is head of the school's cheerleading squad.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Mary's parents have died long before the start of the film and Mary has to live with her grandmother for dependence.
  • Divine Intervention: Slater turns around when Jesus intervenes.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Slater, who has a crush on Mary but she's too busy trying to win over her crush on Sky.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played with when Father calls role in class:
    Father: Thomas Smith?
    Thomas: Here! But I don't know where here is man, 'cause I'm so wasted man!
    Father: Thomas, it is a sin to even pretend that you-you-you're baked.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Evian, when she's dumped by Sky; she grows jealous when she sees Mary Katherine and Sky are growing closer.
  • Hippie Jesus: He doesn't look like a hippie per se, but the personality He uses to appear to Mary Katherine is definitely like one.
  • Hot God: Played with, as when Mary Katherine sees Jesus, He is a mixture of pictures she has seen of Jesus and important figures in her life, such as Sky.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: He's portrayed this way.
  • Kissing Warm-Up: Mary Katherine makes out with a tree trunk - and later on the pole of a stop sign.
  • Love Triangle: Mary/Sky/Evian.
    • Slater/Mary/Sky.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the town (see Bilingual Bonus), in relation to Mary Katherine constant interest in being kissed.
  • My Beloved Smother: Grandma Gallagher is perceived as this but it is due to her really not wanting her granddaughter to accidentally harm herself in the school talent show.
  • Nerd Glasses: Mary Katherine wears them.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Slater, who cannot swim and Mary has to help him to the surface.
  • Super OCD: Owen, who likes to do various things three times in a row.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Lampshaded when Mary Katherine fights with Evian, noting the fact that someone might be able to call his daughter as a brand of bottled water.