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This "Best of SNL" compilation seems a to offer a bit less variety than
usual, because Molly Shannon's characters are so repetitive. I mean
that literally: she repeats and shouts everything (probably trying to
coin another SNL catchphrase). They never know when to stop either:
Helen Madden and Sally O'Malley always seem to overstay their welcome.
Of course she can be really funny in small doses and is very good when
teamed up with other female SNL-ers, like Ana Gasteyer on 'The
Delicious Dish' or Cheri Oteri in 'Leg Up'. This is not meant to sound
mean, but Molly excels at portraying different ages. When playing Helen
Madden opposite Matthew Broderick she seems older than him, yet as Mary
Catherine Galleger (who appears in two skits) she looks suitably young.
Strangely enough, her other teen character, Goth Talk's Circy
Nightshade never appears in this collection.
The 'Top ten bruises on my body' joke during the 'Courtney Love Show' made me wonder how many of those bruises were make up, for Shannon obviously likes to do her own stunts and throws herself against the wall in every other sketch. Like Chris Farley, there does not seem to be much padding involved, as her underwear is visible practically every time. I enjoyed her rendition of Courtney Love, though her Anna Nicole in MTV's FANatic just seemed a bit pointless. Of course they included a sketch where she breaks character (Stand up comic Jeanie Darcy). Molly has a tendency to look straight into the camera anyway. And just like on the live broadcasts they save the worst skits for last, so do all of these Best of specials end with a whimper instead of a bang. Still, I should not be so negative, in the male oriented SNL world very few female cast members get a compilation like this.
7 out of 10
Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon were like two peas in a pod on "Saturday
Night Live." They had good chemistry and when they combined forces they
could induce plenty of laughs. Of course, Will Ferrell is equally funny
without Molly Shannon. "The Best of Molly Shannon" proves it is exactly
the opposite for her.
Yeah, she's a funny lady, but she pales in comparison to such "SNL" comediennes as Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, and even Chery Oteri, who is very goofy. Molly Shannon's "Best Of" collection is fine, I suppose, but I didn't laugh that much -- and not nearly as often as I did with Will Ferrell's "Best Of" DVD.
Here she plays her most famous (and mostly original) characters: Salley O'Malley, Mary Katherine Gallagher, Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith (in a disgusting but funny segment with Ben Affleck), among others. But they're never exactly laugh-out-loud funny; I smiled a few times. I enjoyed some of the gags. But I was only really laughing when Will Ferrell was interacting with Molly.
Whether or not they are good films is definitely arguable, but there's a reason that Will Ferrell has been cast in virtually every mainstream Molly Shannon film. They go together. She cameos in his movies, he cameos and/or stars in hers. Remember "Superstar"? Remember "A Night at the Roxbury"? Maybe they're not good, but at least Lorne Michaels was smart enough to realize that the two have some sort of chemistry.
I noticed that Molly Shannon likes to move around a lot. I watched the Conan O'Brian interview with her (included on the DVD), and she absolutely could not sit still at all, just like her "Joyologist" character, who, in the DVD's outtakes, flipped over her chair from moving around so much.
She's good as Courtney Love, and Molly Shannon is undoubtedly a good comedic actress, but to say that she deserves her own collection of best moments at this point in time is a bit presumptuous, especially considering the fact that classic "SNL" actors have yet to appear in any sort of "Best Of" DVD collections. (Or am I just not finding them on Amazon and in the stores?) Besides, most of the compiles sketches aren't even that great -- or is it just that Molly Shannon herself isn't that great? I hope it's the former.
If you're a fan of Molly Shannon and/or "Saturday Night Live," I would definitely pick up this DVD. I bought it for fourteen dollars, and I've got to say that I'll probably return to it once and a while for some good grins. But not nearly as often as I am already returning to "The Best of Will Ferrell," which still stands as the best "Saturday Night Live" DVD I own at the current time (only three, but I'm getting there).
"Saturday Night Live: The Best of Molly Shannon" runs 76 minutes. It contains outtakes, a deleted dress rehearsal scene, a picture gallery, two TV interviews with Conan, and so on. It is not rated, but contains some language and sexual content/partial nudity. The feature's guest stars include, among others: Val Kilmer, Matthew Broderick, Gabriel Byrne, Tina Turner, Alex Baldwin, et al. It is now available on video and DVD.
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