Instant Follow Friday: Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island Go Full Mockstars for ‘Popstar’
Leave it to Berkeley-born comedy trio The Lonely Island to write, direct and produce one of the most accurate (and funny) social commentaries on pop stars in recent times.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is as much a mockery of out of control and/or washed up pop stars like Justin Bieber as it is a standalone, happy-go-lucky comedy that’s not afraid to make fun of itself and everyone in music as well.
Popstar stars the actual “I’m On a Boat” bandmates Andy Samberg as Connor (aka Connor4Real), Akiva Schaffer as Lawrence (Connor’s lyricist) and Jorma Taccone as Owen (Connor’s DJ). Connor’s fame gets to his head after he goes solo, his second album Connquest flops (as second albums always do), and then he must claw his way back to relevancy, even if that means reuniting with his old trio.
A mockumentary in the post-Spinal Tap age of music documentaries like Bieber’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never or Katy Perry’s Katy Perry: Part of Me, Popstar is getting good reviews from critics (it has an 83% rating on RottenTomatoes.com) for its easy-natured jokes.
RollingStone gave it 3 stars out of 4 and called it “freestyle fun all the way,” while applauding it for the cameo-filled cast:
The cast, including many celeb cameos (is that you, JT?), is what Conner would call “dope.” There’s Sarah Silverman, priceless as Conner’s publicist; Tim Meadows as his harried manager; Joan Cusack as his mother; Imogen Poots as his cheating girlfriend, and a killer Chris Redd as rap prankster who damn near renders Conner dickless. No spoilers, except to say that Harvey Levin’s TMZ gets royally skewered by Will Arnett and that concert films from Katy Perry, One Direction and most especially Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never are the source of many teasing taunts.
The LA Times meanwhile praises the film for its musical parodies: the “fast, funny mockumentary is never faster or funnier than when it’s rifling through Conner’s albums (like “Thriller, Also”) and sampling his biggest, most dubious hits.”
A photo posted by Conner4Real (@conner4real) on
Flavorwire comments that Popstar “stretches thin and misses some opportunities, but lands enough laughs that you probably won’t mind.” Considering all the horrible media items that cloud our newsfeeds on a daily basis, “enough laughs” is a welcome reprieve.
All in all, only great things can come from the trio who, after all, made it big with their work on Saturday Night Live. Schaffer and Taccone are co-directors of the film, while all three boys are credited as writers (in addition to starring and producing).
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping hits theaters today (June 3).
Watch the trailer for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping below: