A Star Is Born Again

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"A Star Is Born Again"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 14
Episode 304
Directed byMichael Marcantel
Written byBrian Kelley
Production codeEABF08
Original air dateMarch 2, 2003
Guest appearance(s)

Helen Fielding as herself
James L. Brooks as himself
Marisa Tomei as Sara Sloane

Episode features
Couch gagThe Simpsons are marionettes, who fail to reach the couch when they get caught up in each other’s strings. The camera pans up to reveal Matt Groening as the puppet master, who throws down his marionettes in frustration.
CommentaryAl Jean
Brian Kelley
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Dan Castellaneta
Michael Marcantel
Mike B. Anderson
David Silverman
Episode chronology
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"I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can"
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"Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington"
The Simpsons (season 14)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"A Star Is Born Again" is the 13th episode from The Simpsons' fourteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 2, 2003; the episode owes much of its plot to Notting Hill (1999). While that film is about an actress (Julia Roberts) finding happiness with the owner of an independent bookstore, the Simpsons episode features Hollywood movie star Sara Sloane (Marisa Tomei) falling for Ned Flanders after visiting the Leftorium; the episode title is a reference to being born again, meaning a person who has converted to a personal faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

This is the only Simpsons episode in which the same person has been accredited with two different names, where James L. Brooks is credited as the Executive Producer and Executive Creative Consultant, and again as Jim Brooks as a Special Guest Voice.


During the annual Jellyfish Festival, which welcomes back the Stinging Red Jellyfish to the shores of Springfield, Ned Flanders becomes depressed because he is alone; the other adults have partners with whom to spend a romantic evening at the Jellyfish Cotillion, and this is Ned's first festival without his wife Maude.

Ned returns to the Leftorium to work on his taxes and take his mind off things. There he meets a woman named Sara Sloane, who is after a pair of left-handed eyelash curlers. After chatting with Ned she asks him out on a date. After she leaves Ned notices a movie poster with Sara's face on it, which she is a movie star.

Sara and Ned hit it off, with Sara loving Ned's simple, quaint lifestyle and honesty, they go on several dates and encounter some problems, especially from tabloid reporters following them. Also, Sara is more uninhibited than Ned, causing some tension.

When her movie wraps, Sara asks Ned to return to Hollywood with her. Ned has a horrible dream about the bad things of Hollywood in a sequence that includes a cameo by series producer James L. Brooks, and also the "Hollywood" sign reading "Hollyweird", and refuses. Sara therefore tries staying in Springfield, to be with Ned, she slowly starts settling in with the locals, joining Marge's book club hosted by author Helen Fielding and going shopping with Ned.

At a concert, to which Sara wears a low-cut dress, Sara tells Ned she wants to have sex with him. Ned eventually relents, but insists on marriage if they are to continue a sexual relationship. Sara is unwilling to get married, and they break up and she returns to Hollywood, she gets a quickie marriage and divorce to Bob Balaban. Ned finds that he is now more attractive to women because of his famous relationship.

Cultural references[edit]


In a 2008 article, Entertainment Weekly named Marisa Tomei's role as Sara Sloane as one of the sixteen best guest appearances on The Simpsons.[1]


  1. ^ a b "16 great 'Simpsons' guest stars". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-05-11. Cite news requires |newspaper= (help)

External links[edit]