Sorry, guys. Hard R.
I had a weird perspective for this movie. This was one of the movies that caught my eye because of the sheer amount of positive reviews surrounding its release. I was extremely excited to see it. I love music mockumentaries, especially films like Christopher Guest's This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind. One week passes...and it is out of theaters.
Maybe it was a limited release or maybe I'm just a crazy person, but I put this down on a list to see later. I'm certainly glad I did. After a string of disappointing comedies, I found myself belly laughing at one of the greatest satires of contemporary music I have ever seen.
I've never been a Lonely Island guy. I appreciate everything I see from the group. Their SNL digital shorts are usually a pretty solid chuckle that develops into a meme. I even really like Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But people tend to really obsess about this group. I can't say that I've ever purchased an album or have even been tempted to purchase an album. But the guys definitely have talent. It is odd watching what might be a parallel with Samberg's own career. While Connor, the brash music breakout is clearly meant to satirize Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake (who thankfully appears in probably one of the most ludicrous roles I've seen him play), Andy Samberg's own career from The Lonely Island parallels Connor's departure from The Style Boyz. These are smart guys. I'm sure that this choice was not an accident. The other members of The Lonely Island are successful in their own rights, but there is definitely a case to be made that the story is about Samberg's rise to fame.
The comedy is absurd and it works extremely well. In terms of plot, many of the beats follow the traditional E! True Hollywood Story tropes. But it really works here. Perhaps the anchor of the piece is Tim Meadows's character, a fictional fourth member of Toni Tony Tone. I don't want to go into all of the character's beats, but there are weirdly some emotional things that the actor delivers. Or I'm just overly emotional. Either way, nice job, Tim Meadows.
Yes, the movie is wildly offensive. In an era of gross out comedies, this one is no different. But there is something honest and well timed about the movie overall. There is a work of genius in here and it really might be this generation's Spinal Tap.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.