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Surprise! The Bieber Movie is Really Good

February 14, 2011

My friend Kelly and I have a tradition where we pick a silly movie to go see, and then have way more fun watching it than anyone else in the theater because we aren’t taking the movie seriously. Case and point: Eclipse. [Full disclosure, we drank vodka the entire movie, so by the time it ended we were pretty far gone. It’s really the only way to watch that movie.] We had a grand ol’ time laughing at that movie while the 14-year-olds behind us hissed “IT ISN’T FUNNY!!!!!!!” which made it even funnier.

Anyway, in the spirit of seeing ridiculous movies, we just had to see Never Say Never, otherwise known as the Justin Bieber movie. While we were watching it [sober, actually] something unexpected happened–it totally charmed us and we both ended up LOVING it.

The movie, which is actually a documentary of the ten days before Bieber’s Madison Square Garden concert, is quite good. The audience gets to meet the Biebs’s family, friends, his seventh grade teacher, managers, stylists, musical collaborators, and, of course, his fans. But the major take-away from the film is that Justin Bieber is the luckiest and most normal teenage superstar, maybe ever.

The real stars of this documentary are Justin Bieber’s entourage. Unlike many teenage stars, both past and (I assume) present, Bieber has a team of people working with him that truly believe in him, and, above all, adore him. In one of the more touching scenes, Bieber’s talent manager, Scooter Braun, tells an anecdote of being with Justin at the Grammys last year when Madonna made the claim that the music industry (and the world) robbed Michael Jackson of his youth. Braun said that at that moment, Justin looked at him and said, “Please don’t let that happen to me.” [Heart melting, go!]

That plea seems to be the mantra of Bieber’s team: they want him to have as much success as he can handle, but they also want him to be a teenager. And to that end, they keep things fun! It is obvious while watching the film that his (super young) team of managers, stylists, tour crew, and security personnel love their jobs–they sing goofy songs, play basketball, pull pranks on each other, and joke around constantly. While int he theater, there were several occasions where Kelly and I looked at each other to say that we wished we could work with them!

Above all, the aim of the film is to prove to us all that Justin Bieber is really just a normal kid, who had a dream and a decent amount of talent, and with the help of Youtube got really, really lucky. But while watching the film, only the most cold-hearted of people could believe that the footage of Justin at home in Ontario, hanging out with his grade school best friends (who resurface at the end of the film backstage at MSG and then onstage with Justin during the encore, which induces more heart melting.), joking around during sound check, and praying before eating dinner or going on stage, is actually propaganda to add to the Justin Bieber empire of celebrity.

The documentary is well-made, and isn’t just a “tour movie” (remember the NSync one?). We’re shown the hardships of being a teenager surrounded by adults, constantly on the road, awake before sunrise, getting sick and canceling shows, and being heavily criticized by both the media and the music industry. We’re shown the joy of a day off, the high after a great performance, and the terror of being mobbed by women, young and not-so-young. But most of all, we’re shown how many people believe in Justin Bieber. It’s a surprisingly touching film and it’s a whole lot of fun.

I liked it so much that I’m thinking of seeing it AGAIN.

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