Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D Directed by Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz
Starring Katy Perry, Glen Ballard, Shannon Woodward, Russell Brand, Adele, Rihanna, Lady Gaga
MTV Films | Paramount Pictures
Rated PG | 97 Minutes
Release Date: July 5, 2012
All right, here’s the thing – I know I’m not supposed to like Katy Perry. I’m not supposed to like Lady GaGa either, but I do. Let me put this in more simplistic, geek-relative terms: Katy Perry is to The Avengers as Lady GaGa is to The Dark Knight – both pop stars are awesome for completely different reasons.
GaGa’s got her Little Monsters and Perry’s got her Katy Kats, and yes – it’s creepy for a 27-year-old bearded straight man to consider himself part of either of those fan communities – but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the artistry and pageantry of pop music. Sometimes, I just want a little good old fashioned frivolity, and that’s the escape Perry’s music provides.
I’m not ashamed to admit it – I really like Katy Perry. I dig her whole vibe, from the silly, catchy-as-hell pop songs to her blue hair and “Sexy Willy Wonka” fashion sense. Say what you will about America’s candy-coated pop starlet, but you can’t deny her success. Her 2010 album Teenage Dream spawned five number one singles â€” “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).”
Teenage Dream is the only album (after Michael Jackson’s Bad) â€” to hit five number one singles, making Perry the first female artist in history to do so. Before becoming a global superstar, Perry first gained recognition in 2008 with One of the Boys, an album which gave way to three Billboard Hot 100 top-ten songs â€” “I Kissed A Girl,” “Hot n Cold,” and “Waking Up In Vegas.” She’s also the subject of a new documentary / concert film from the producers of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and addictive reality shows like Project Runway and Top Chef.
In Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D, directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz document the trajectory of Perry’s career, from starting as a gospel singer (under her real name, Katheryn Hudson) to a singer-songwriter phase that felt like equal parts Lilith Fair and Alanis Morissette.
I’ll be the first to admit that Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D feels like a perfectly polished piece of brand management, but even through all the fluff there’s still plenty of authentic moments between Perry and her family, as well as her fans. Most of the film takes place backstage on her California Dreams World Tour while juggling her relationship with British comedian Russell Brand, who pops up sporadically to remind us of how annoying and extremely one-note he is.
While perhaps Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D doesn’t reveal every side of the sensational pop star, it’s great to see the filmmakers (and the subject of the documentary) refuse to shy away from the messy divorce and the pressures of putting on a world tour while your entire personal life falls apart.
For those who despise Katy Perry and see her as nothing more than a cardboard cut-out responsible for the death of modern music, I doubt Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D will make them re-evaluate their opinions, but perhaps if anything it will reveal that Perry’s rise to stardom wasn’t an overnight success, but rather a long road of rejection before she made the big time.
I found Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D to be exceedingly entertaining, interesting, and downright fun. In a season of films often characterized by testosterone-fueled superhero films and action flicks, the summer of 2012 has provided more than a few viewing options for those lovely lady movie geeks. For the adults you’ve got Magic Mike, for the kids you’ve got Brave, and for those angst-ridden tweens stuck in the middle, Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D should do just the trick.
PS: Russell Brand, you’re an idiot. You wouldn’t get on a plane and visit your wife while she traveled around the world selling out arenas and breaking records? I’d jump out of a fucking UFO and space-dive my way through burning-hot atmosphere and birds of prey to be with her…
PSS: If you’re reading this Katy, give me a call. You’ll never have to choose between me and your career – I’ll put you first always. I’ll be your teenage dream… or at least your mid-to-late-twenties dream.