Produced by Judd Apatow, Popstar is surprisingly an often hilarious comedy that can be best described as This Is Spinal Tap for the modern generation. Like This Is Spinal and Christopher Guest films, the movie is a mockumentary following behind the scenes of a world famous popstar. The intent is to parody the music and entertainment industries. The film is the brainchild of comedy trio The Lonely Island whose satirical music videos have been featured as digital shorts on Saturday Night Live. Andy Samberg, the group’s leading member and a Saturday Night Live alumnus, plays a popstar going by the ridiculous stage name Connor4Real. Connor is about to release the second album of his solo career after leaving the pop group formed with his childhood friends known as Style Boyz. Samberg’s over-the-top character is an exaggerated combination of Justin Bieber’s recklessness, Justin Timberlake’s stardom, and Kanye West’s egotism. Giving it a feel of a real documentary, several famous musicians, music producers, and other celebrities discuss Connor’s music career in a very much tongue-in-cheek fashion. There is even a cameo from Justin Timberlake who is mercilessly parodied throughout the film. Through a series of scenes resembling comic sketches, Connor and his entourage are involved in very silly and preposterous antics. The lyrics and dance moves for the songs are incoherently ridiculous, obvious allusions to hyper-sexualized language, twerking, and other aspects of contemporary pop music. The plot also follows a very formulaic story arc: a star rises from obscurity with his childhood bandmates, enjoys fame and success with the band, goes on a solo career with mixed results, and finally redeems himself. Despite my rather low expectations, the movie is a very funny guilty pleasure that successfully employs the mockumentary format to poke fun at the entertainment industry and our preoccupation with fame.
Keith, I would love it if you would post reviews of movies of any kind which are available on Netflix and Amazon. I know you’ve see 100s which many of us missed, and we would like some guidance when we sit in front of our screens trying to make a decision!