Scenic Routes: This is the exact moment that Jack Black became a movie star

In Scenic Routes, Mike D’Angelo looks at key scenes, explaining how they work and what they mean.

Defining the moment of transition from actor to movie star can be a tricky business. Sometimes, it’s perfectly clear when it happened, but not exactly why or how. I’m thinking in particular of Julia Roberts—most people would say she became a star with Pretty Woman, but she’d already been Oscar-nominated at that point, for the previous year’s Steel Magnolias, and she’d also gotten a lot of attention a year before that as part of Mystic Pizza‘s ensemble. It happened very quickly, but there was no precise moment of coronation. Tom Cruise, by contrast, did have one: He became a movie star at the instant that he slid onto the screen in his socks and underwear, holding a candlestick as a microphone and lip-syncing to Bob …

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