Monday, 31 October 2016

Film Review: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) and the problem with Parody Films

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Parody films pretty much always go down on my list of the worst films ever made. That gimmicky, over the top slapstick humour makes me squirm and come to think of it, I've never not watched these films in the background whilst doing something else.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping however, wasn't awful. I'd go as far as saying it was actually quite good. I keep writing 'Popstar Never Say Never'  every time I type out the title basically because the film main character Conner Friel played by Andy Sandberg, is loosely inspired by Justin Bieber. I'm just gathering this from the film's title- a play on one of Bieber's songs and some incidents that play out, that have most definitely been Bieber inspired (i.e Anne Frank's house - saying no more). But that's where the comparison's end. You see the problem with parody films is that the references are a. very specific - often parodying an entire pre-existing film and b. the references are very much a reflection of the time in which the film is made meaning that they simply aren't funny or don't make sense a year after their release date.

This film is independent of both those traits. It's told in the form of a musical documentary and tells the story of is a musical prodigy - Conner Friel who began his journey in the industry in popular boyband, The Style Boyz. Straight off the bat the film definitely has a lot of material to work with and it does, pretty much spoofing every type of self-indulgent person in the music industry. It therefore works because these characters are timeless. And while the film is doing this it also manages to pull off a pretty concrete plot. I wouldn't say it pulls heart strings but i did find myself strangely caring for some of the characters and wanting them to do well.

As it's written, directed, produced and stars The Lonely Island, it definitely has their stamp all over it and so if you're into that sort of humour, you'll love it. Like really dumb, stupid humour.

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