When his new album fails to sell records, pop and rap superstar conner4real (Andy Samberg) goes into a major tailspin and watches his celebrity high life begin to collapse. He'll try anything to bounce back, anything except reuniting with his old rap group The Style Boyz.
The excessive world of modern pop is so soulless and pretentious, it's ripe picking for drama. The mental breakings of stars like Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and others show an inherent flaw in how human beings are turned into oblivious money-making commodities, and then unceremoniously spit-out when their glimmer dies. Popstar, the brain child of the YouTube-turned-SNL stars The Lonely Island, touches on these things enough, but mostly it's just fantastic jokes. A timely and lightning-fast musical mockumentary, I could barely catch my breath from laughing. The story works as a parallel to the careers of the three Lonely Island guys themselves. Conner4Real (Samberg) is an international popstar who has grown beyond the popularity of his two Style Boyz partners (Taccone, Schaffer). While it uses that parallel effectively, it never becomes overbearing. Instead what shines are the original songs, a staple of these guys past endeavors, including their groundbreaking "SNL Digital Shorts" segments. Each one is an instant classic (i.e. "I'm So Humble", "Things in My Jeep"), played ridiculously as if they have influenced real musicians, many of whom make hilarious cameos. For those of you old enough to remember the comedy classic "Spinal Tap", this format may seem somewhat familiar. However, a distractingly blatant rip-off this is not. It uses its 30-year separation as a way to point out the modern massive difference between actual artistic influence and silly cultural nostalgia that permeates the musical landscape. And while it doesn't quite reach Spinal-Tap-heights of greatness, if you're looking for a perfect friends-night-out, this is a comedy you will be happy to visit and revisit over and again.
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