You see them on E network. You read about them in the popular tabloids. The life of a star is on display for everyone in this world and we eat it up like pies in a fair contest. Heavy are the heads of those who wear the crowns of stardom and many will do anything to keep the light on them. This weekend, Samberg and his crew release a movie that attempts to poke fun at the silliness that is music artist drama. My review is on Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Let’s get started
- Clever presentation.
- Lots of jabs at Hollywood trends
- Lonely Island Songs Filling The Air
The first thing I loved about Popstar was it’s clever presentation in the form of a documentary, or in this case a mockumentary. Popstar is a tale about Conner, a former pop sensation who is trying to go solo in an attempt to keep his fame high. To help promote the album, the arrogant, naïve boob hires a crew to capture his life on tape to portray to the masses (the audience). In this format, we didn’t just get to see Conner’s screw-ups, but observe the thoughts of those involved in his entourage. Various celebrity cameos riddle the interview scenes, making hilarious comments that show the fickleness of the Hollywood scene. This dual approach kept things interesting, and provide a variety of comedy styles that shows some people still have originality.
Popstar’s plot also allows for opportunities to jab at Hollywood stars, who enjoy a few too many benefits due to their status. I can’t tell you how many times I smiled when they threw a celebrity under the bus, or parodied an incident that some dopey star has done in the past. You know that what is being done is stupid, and Samberg’s overacted antics only make it more ridiculous. But it’s satisfying to hear someone bash a celebrity for acting so juvenile. While I can’t say they hit everyone, Samberg and company cast a wide net to cover a lot of musical entertainment follies while also extending into the obsessions of the general public. Yes…you the audience also get to be jibed as they emphasize just how absurd fans can be about everything and hurtful they can be thanks to the Internet. And what better to way to poke fun then a Lonely Island musical number in all its…interesting qualities. The vulgarity and aggressive nature of their songs remains just as colorful as their albums.
- Banter gets old
- Overacted at parts
Despite how much fun the movie is though, someone is sure to take offense to some of this movie’s more assertive jokes. The opening number about Not Being Gay is sure to rile up some community’s twitter account that will black ball Samberg. I agree that there are some moments that cross the line, but audience members need to put their big people pants on and realize most of this is a joke, or don’t see the film. Still Samberg and his crew need to watch where they travel to in terms of their comedy, especially when it further stains the image of America to foreign countries.
As I mentioned earlier, the comedy is very diverse and spans a number of styles that keep it fresh. One of those happens to be the banter routine, where Conner and some poor schmuck get caught in a rousing game of idiot tennis. Much like the T.V. shows that plague cable these days, Popstar has plenty of these moments, where the characters go round and round on an issue. Some of these arguments are pretty good, especially with the writing. However, there are other times where these banters are annoying, or a bit too stupid to be enjoyable, (which happened around the third or fourth time), as they rant on and on (much like this review). This was especially true in the TMZ parodies, which was a farce that needed to be two minutes and dropped like a scalding cup of coffee.
And much like the banter, sometimes the acting itself goes too far into the overacting territory. One certainly sees the SNL roots at times, particularly in Samberg’s moments of overemotional whining or screaming. Some may like this silly style of acting, but when it is drawn out…well that’s when I lose interest. Even the supporting actors trail in this territory, but fortunately the writing bails them out and we move on with the film. There are even a few stunts that didn’t fit well into the movie, depriving the more emotional parts by hamming it up with a cheesy interlude. Fortunately, much of these weaker parts are short-lived and the low running time only further helps.
I was pleased with this movie and for the most part found it entertaining compared to half the comedic crap that comes out of the woodwork. Popstar’s creative presentation and diverse comedy style will surely bring a little something for everyone. Sure there are moments that things get out of hand, and there are lots of moments I wish were cut out or edited down to say the least (especially more mature male organ parts). However, Popstar indeed stands out and certainly deserves a chance for those wanting a laugh. Worth a trip to the theater? Heck no, it lacks pretty much everything I praise for a movie. But I encourage a rental when you get the chance.
Movie Overall: 6.0