A 3D motion picture event movie, Katy Perry: Part of Me is a backstage pass, front row seat and intimate look at the fun, glamorous, ...
Rating: PG for some suggestive content, language, thematic elements and brief smoking
Length: 95 minutes
Released: July 5, 2012 Nationwide
Cast: Katy Perry
Director: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz
Diehard Katy Perry fans may enjoy "Katy Perry: Part of Me," but anyone else will recognize that the part of herself that Perry reveals in the film is nothing but the whitewashed, cheerleader side.
This backstage look at the pop singer proves bland and uncompelling. Her life story may have a dramatic arc, but directors Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth's telling of it flatlines.
"Part of Me" goes on the road with Perry as she embarks on her 2011 California Dreams Tour. Her handlers marvel that it will be her most ambitious and grueling tour ever — will she survive it? Will she be able to pull it off?
False incredulity aside, there's no suspense. 'Cause, golly gee, if there's one thing that "Katy Perry: Part of Me" makes clear, it's that Perry loves (or would that be "luvs"?) her fans, and she would never, ever let them down (insert heart symbol here).
Perry's rise from Pentecostal progeny to wholesome-looking pin-up pop star has been well documented, so it's hard to figure out what the film is trying to accomplish. It's definitely not a showcase for her as a performer — the concert footage abbreviates nearly every song and never provides an emotional climax. In that regard, even the Justin Bieber doc, "Never Say Never," was superior.
Instead, her hits are used as background music for fatuous observations by her stylist, makeup artist, managers, BFFs, siblings, parents and grandmother.
She even gets endorsements from the likes of Adele, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. (Kool-Aid, anybody?) As for shocking revelations, there are none. To most of the world, the most interesting thing about Perry is the fact that she fell in love with and married British actor/comedian Russell Brand, who previously had been outspoken about his promiscuity and debauched lifestyle. There are a few shots of their happy moments together, but Brand is absent for the most part, and the audience is left with Perry first mooning over him and then whining that she's doing her part to save her marriage.
There are no gory details on their break-up — nor should there be — yet the insinuation is that the failure was all Brand's, and his side of the story is ignored. (Maybe that's the plan: A sequel chronicling Brand's perspective of the marriage would have to be more entertaining than this.) Perry may have broken more sales records than anyone else on the music scene today, but "Part of Me" is a sad defense of whatever artistry she supposedly has. Fans breathlessly enthuse over Perry's messages: It's OK to be different. Always be yourself. ("You're unique, just like everyone else.") But what is unique about Perry? She's a PG version of Lady Gaga, who herself was a reboot of Madonna. She writes songs from her real life, as told to her diary, apparently circa 1954. Everything in the movie feels scripted, rehearsed.
What "Part of Me" shows primarily is that a pretty girl with middling talent and lots of determination can become a pop princess if she just finds the right gimmick. But didn't we already know that?
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!