July 11, 2016

Movie Monday: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Popstar I find The Lonely Island hilarious. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer are amazing at combining music and comedy. Their latest venture is a mockumentary about Connor4Real, a rapper who hit it big with trio The Style Boiz and then his first solo record. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping charts the release of Connor's sophomore album and it's subsequent failure. This forces Connor to all sorts of crazy shenanigans to get back on top, before perhaps admitting that he's made some mistakes.

Lots of the usual suspects like SNL alums Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph make an appearance. It's also chock full of real musicians like Nas, Seal, and Justin Timberlake (as an intense chef). The funny people help land the jokes and the musicians help give the silliness of Popstar a sense of reality.

The movie had me hooked from the opening music number, "I'm So Humble (feat. Adam Levine)," which closes with an interview with Mariah Carey stating how much she relates to the song. The jokes in and around the song both hit. I think that's the musical highlight of Popstar, even though there's plenty of humor in the songs to come. (Including Connor's way-too-late anthem in support of gay marriage.)

Samberg has been developing his acting chops on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and his improved acting serves him well. He's more at ease inhabiting a character instead of over-emphasizing the punchline. Taccone is great as the one friend who has stood by him in a see of yes men and just wants to see his friends back together. Schaffer is hilariously intense as his ex-friend who pretends to like the farm he's ended up on.

The jokes in Popstar are broad, but many of them hit. It's a classic tale of hubris and friendship, wrapped up in a gloriously ridiculous package. The date for the video release doesn't seem to be finalized yet, but I recommend Popstar to any fan of The Lonely Island.

1 comment:

  1. I really wanted to see this one, but nobody I knew would go with me. Sigh. I do love The Lonely Island. I'm sure once it's on video, I could get a friend or two to watch. Glad you liked it!


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