Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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Aims to do for the Timberlake-Bieber popstar crowd what the mockumentary-rockumentary This is Spinal Tap did for heavy metal rockers. Like Spinal Tap, the humor is front-loaded: star Andy Samberg & Co. are at their best when they’re deadpanning as addlepated celebrity man-children whose vision of the good life involves the getting of ways and the indulging of whims. (There will be a measure of amusement for those who pay attention to such things in picking out the real-life events behind the onscreen exaggerations: loading an album onto home appliances without considering consumer interest a la U2, taking a dump in the Anne Frank house a la Bieber, etc.) And there is a scene of transcendently crude absurdity involving the signing of a fan’s penis during an impassioned intra-band argument. But once the bubble bursts and the lessons are learned, the story becomes as conventional a media narrative as any dreamed up by a greasy-palmed publicist. Unlike Spinal Tap, the music of both the boy-band Style Boyz and solo act Connor 4 Real is sometimes not so much a parody of the genre as a hijacking. Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” was very nearly believable; Connor singing about a girl who demands to be f***ed like the U.S. f***ed Bin Laden is not. Directed by Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. (2016) — Matthew Lickona

Rated R | 1 hour, 26 minutes
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