Cert: 15 Runtime: 87 mins Director: Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, Joan Cusack and Tim Meadows
We’d like to get to the point where Connor is everywhere – like oxygen or gravity or clinical depression
Lonely Island are a group I connect with. Many years ago me and my friends would write stupid lyrics to catchy tunes. It’s something I admire and love. Andy Samberg has broken out as a great comedic actor and now finally Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping has come out. What is it about you ask? As a member of the hit boy band The Style Boyz, pop singer and rapper Conner (Andy Samberg) was a huge star. He also had an enormous entourage of sycophants and hangers on. But the band split as a result of his monstrous, out-of-control ego and now he’s pursuing a solo career, billing himself as Conner4Real. Unfortunately, his personal and professional lives have hit the skids. His second album ‘CONNquest’ has flopped and his very public proposal to publicity-obsessed girlfriend Ashley (Imogen Poots) has just gone horribly wrong.
Probably this is the best parody music movie since This Is Spinal Tap! My face was in pain by the end. That being said, it’s not as if this is just a rehash of other better films. Because this film is spoofing not only the musicians of today, but everybody in the entertainment world. That being said this film does list as another Judd Apatow film and does have some formulaic moments that appear in all of his films.While constantly focused on the low-hanging fruit of celebrity personal branding, product-placement, reality TV inspired banality and faux savoir- faire worldliness, audiences can’t help but respond with heaps of constant laughter. The laughter becomes louder when The Lonely Island crew cuts deep into Hollywood’s insincere sanctimony and egoism such as when Conner releases “Same Love” inspired “Equal Rights” which reiterates Conner heterosexuality one too many times.
That said there are some jokes that just don’t work, the most egregious of which is Popstar’s parody of TMZ, CMZ. The set-piece hopes to coax laughter out of sycophantic shrieking and Will Arnett’s need to always have a straw in his mouth. This along with tour sponsorship being handled by washing machine manufacturer Aquaspin are more bizarre than funny. Yet with the sheer amount of visual humor, clever dialogue, goofy- comic setups and a richly layered meta-text, you can’t help but enjoy a movie so crudely and gleefully nutty. The musical interludes are boat loads of fun. Andy Sandberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are clearly at the top of their game and with any luck, still have a few more witty tunes to churn out in the future.