Movie: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
My Rating: 4 stars
I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a thoroughly ridiculous and fun romp. Andy Samberg and the rest of the Lonely Island crew are hilarious, so watching them perform in a movie about an out-of-touch, teen idol, popstar is exactly the kind of light fluffy fun I was looking for after a long day at work. And, of course, Andy Samberg is perfect for the role. He’s mastered the art of the dopily earnest, uncomprehending gaze. This is a Lonely Island movie, so it relies heavily on the crude dick joke for much of its humor. We even get to see a couple real, lives ones too. Not sure whether that’s a selling point or not. But, you wouldn’t be into these guys if you weren’t already ok with an occasional, casual penis spotting.
This movie gets most of its laughs by poking fun at the pop music industry. And, there’s plenty of fuel for that fire. There are the inane song lyrics, the inflated egos, the hundreds of writing and producing credits on each song, the pure spectacle of the shows. Samberg plays Conner, a Justin Bieber-style, pop phenomenon. He’s young, rich, has terrible taste, and is surrounded by yes-men. That’s an explosive combination. When someone is that immature, and that wealthy, there are plenty of opportunities for destructive hijinks. The real trouble in this story starts when Conner, fresh off the success of his first solo album, decides that he’s a real artist, and attempts to write his second album on his own. Criticism is quite harsh, and sales are accordingly dismal. While most films would be satisfied to merely use this artistic failure as a plot point, Lonely Island gives us a bit more. These guys are song writers. And, they perform every one of these disastrous songs in the movie so that we can see exactly why the public’s reception would be so chilly. But, the best part is that these are pop songs, and they’re quite fun if you were just listening to the music, and not paying much attention to the words. You’d probably just assume that these were just any generic songs about love and girls and a non-offensive amount of “partying.”
The filmmakers managed to round up an impressive amount of real, music industry personalities to make cameos in the movie. They’re presented as talking-heads in reality TV’s “confessional” style interviews. They share their thoughts and memories of this fictional Conner as if he were a real star. And, while a few of these artists are a bit self conscious and mug for the camera, most of them manage to give their interviews with relatively straight faces. It’s a very fun touch. And, I think it gave the movie the extra boost it needed to avoid becoming just another forgettable, raunchy comedy. I definitely recommend this movie. It’s a really fun time—especially if you’re in the mood for something rude and silly. Of course, it’s not for very delicate types. There are a few to many full frontal wiener shots to watch this movie with school children or your grandmother. But, it’s definitely worth checking out.