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By Megan Bianco
One of the silliest and most unpretentious movies to come out this year is Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. It’s about a pseudo Justin Bieber type of superstar, and is a little bit Spinal Tap (1984), a bit of Walk Hard (2007) and a lot of Judd Apatow influence. Created by the comedy trio, the Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), who are most famous for their Saturday Night Live digital shorts from the 2006-2009 seasons, Popstar is a clever idea that’s a few years too late.
The parody begins with a camera crew following around Conner 4Real (Samberg) as he releases a new record right before his latest tour. Throughout the film, we see Conner’s origins with a Beastie Boys-esque rap group called Style Boyz with his childhood friends Owen (Taccone) and Lawrence (Schaffer), his latest competition with Hunter the Hungry (Chris Redd), and his engagement to starlet Ashley Wednesday (Imogen Poots). While Conner’s album and tour bombs, Lawrence starts over as a farmer.
Joan Cusack, Tim Meadows, Emma Stone, Sarah Silverman and Maya Rudolph are a few of the big-name appearances. Produced by Apatow and directed by Taccone and Schaffer, Popstar isn’t a laugh-out-loud fest that one would assume from this group, but it is still a solid satiric effort. There are more chuckles than guffaws, but Conner’s journey through pop to EDM while flopping is amusing enough, and show the trio are still at their best with funny music videos.