REVIEW | Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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Review by Dustin Heller

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary comedy written, directed, produced by, and starring the comedy trio The Lonely Island.  For those who don’t know, The Lonely Island is made up of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, the men who led the SNL Digital Shorts division of Saturday Night Live in the mid-2000s.

Popstar is co-produced by Judd Apatow of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up fame.  Along with The Lonely Island, the film co-stars Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots and Justin Timberlake.  The movie is rated R for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use.

The film documents the life of music superstar Conner4Real (Samberg) from his rise to fame with the boy band The Style Boyz to his massive solo career.  When his highly anticipated second solo album, Connquest, turns out to be a flop, Conner is left reeling and searching for answers as to what went wrong.

Even with his major success as a solo artist, Conner’s fall begins the day he gets into a fight on stage with Lawrence (Schaffer), The Style Boyz’ lyricist, causing the band to break up and go their separate ways.  Owen (Taccone), the third member of The Style Boyz, stays with Conner and serves as his DJ and spends his time trying to get the group back together.  Conner must now find new ways to reach out to his fans with his career in a tailspin even if that means swallowing his pride and re-uniting with The Style Boyz.

Let me just say that I’m surprised that I didn’t totally hate this movie.  It’s obviously supposed to be dumb, but I was fully expecting it to not be funny either.  I was sort of wrong because it definitely has some funny parts and is overall quite enjoyable.  Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island’s comedy usually doesn’t strike a chord with me and has always seemed pretty immature.  I know that sounds snobby, but I just don’t get it.

Popstar isn’t much different than their other stuff, but somehow the characters were likable and it worked.  The movie is full of fun cameos and Justin Timberlake is fantastic.  This movie will be a big hit with fans of the SNL Digital Short music videos.  By no means is Popstar a perfect comedy, but there are enough laughs to consider this a satisfying time at the movies.

Grade:  C+

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping opens in theaters on Friday, June 3

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