Dennis Pryzwara’s movie is a souped-up video diary; he doesn’t go for a global view, instead zeroing in on the queues of people waiting outside two LA cinemas for The Phantom Menace to open. People like 17-year-old Daniel Alter – if anyone in this doc is The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, it’s the rotund, scratchy-voiced Daniel. There’s something loveably simple about him: he just wants to be the big fish in the small world of his geeky mates. He’s a far more likeable character than the vicious careerists from Oz website CountingDown.com, who rule the line at Mann’s Chinese with a PR-friendly rod of iron.
The waiting gives Star Woids a proper narrative. Will rain, wind and drive-by eggings force Daniel et al off the street? Will they last 40 days sleeping outdoors? Are cooler kids going to queue-jump ahead of the nerds when the big day comes? You fight it, but as the tension mounts you find yourself rooting for the dreamers queuing up.