Oh fuck my life, if there was a movie that I really didn’t want to see, it was this one. Andy Samberg seemed a little too closely associated with Happy Madison productions, implying a doomed film career, or just a few forgettable comedies that few have seen, so I expected this movie to tank and get ripped apart by critics and only loved by those with poor taste in comedies that are marinated in gross-out or immature humor. Granted, that wasn’t showcased in its trailer, but it did look atrociously stupid and I had made up my mind on the stop: this was going to be a horrible movie. But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t just see the good ones.
This is my honest opinion of: POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING
Shot in the style of documentary. Connor (Andy Samberg) is a pop/rap singer. Early on in his career, he used to be a part of the rap group The Style Boyz that he formed with his childhood friends Owen (Jorma Taccone) and Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer). But Connor’ popularity went straight to his head and he wasn’t giving credit to Lawrence’s writing, which is part of why the group was so successful. Lawrence left the group and Style Boyz was disbanded in favor of Connor going solo, and Owen remaining as Connor’s DJ. Connor became ridiculously popular thanks to his debut album, but as soon as he releases his second album, it’s horrendously panned by critics. So begins a series of events for Connor to try and save face by working with other artists and relying on over-the-top gimmicks.
… Exactly how many apologies do I owe? Probably a whole shit load because this movie was hilarious!
First of all, there was a shockingly low amount of immature or gross-out humor. Okay, there was still a bit of it, but I guess it was done in such a way that it was funny to me. There’s a scene where Connor wants to test the loyalties of his crew. He makes them pancakes that he purposely makes to taste bad. His crew starts eating the pancakes and clearly show signs of disgust. While Owen is honest and tells Connor that the pancakes are gross, the other two praise his “culinary” skills. Then Connor reveals why the pancakes are so bad: dog shit. Yeah, kinda sick. That’s the kind of humor that deters me from liking comedies. But the delivery of the revelation, the delivery of the dialog, and more importantly, the set-up and build-up, it was all perfect. In any other comedy, the dog feces would have been instantly revealed and therefore, the joke’s punchline would be useless. There’s plenty more scenes similar or in more tasteful humor, but think about this in terms of my taste in comedy: this is the scene I chose to reference. Out of every scene, this is the one that stands out the most. Not because it’s the funniest or the best joke in the movie, but because I remember it being so perfectly executed that even a gross-out joke can be funny. That’s not nothing to me.
It wouldn’t surprise me if this movie was supposed to be a satire of Justin Beiber. I mean, Connor’s career seems to line up. Beiber’s early career was a hit, becoming the next best thing to hit music since the invention of the guitar (so the tweens will tell you), but present day is a different story. Beiber isn’t known for his music anymore. He’s known for his borderline (or not so borderline) antics, his rotten attitude, and generally his personal life. Connor is much the same way. He had a… respectable career at first, but then controversy became his career. I suppose the absolute irony and the funniest thing to take from it is that Connor eventually figures it out and makes a comeback, mending broken bridges and learning valuable lessons.
And that’s what I love most about this flick: Samberg himself and his portrayal of Connor. Yeah, Connor is an idiot, but he’s played in a way that’s really lovable and, dare I say it, sympathetic. He’s been in the music industry since he was a kid and was a music prodigy. Fame and glory was a huge part of his life and he had grand visions of going bigger. Those visions shifted to delusions of grandeur and ended up screwing over a friend. Believing he wasn’t at fault, he’s tried to make it big on his own. But eventually it gets out of hand and he refuses to acknowledge the root of the problem. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just caught up in his own popularity. He does eventually acknowledge what he does wrong and attempts to correct it. This is rare in comedies. A real character arch that has emotional depth and Samberg drives it home.
Hey, I’ll be the last person to say this is the comedy to end all comedies, but I admit wholeheartedly how wrong I was about it. It is definitely one of the best straight-comedies that I’ve seen this year. Mister Samberg, makers of this movie in general, I apologize for my conclusion-jumping. Y’all made a quality movie that was highly enjoyable. It might look stupid, and it is, but in all the best ways possible. Highly recommended.
My honest opinion of POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING: 5/5
- ME BEFORE YOU