Following the example of Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers and many more teen-skewing pop stars before her, Katy Perry now has her own, slightly more adult, concert movie in theaters. There's only so much that you can do with one of these films -- what with the expected combination of standard backstage footage, interviews with family and friends and of course, the concert performances themselves -- but Part of Me really delivers on all of its... well, parts. It's an enjoyable film for Perry fans and may even bring her some new ones as well.
The movie follows Perry as she embarks on her year-long 2011 California Dreams tour, showing performances from various stops along the way and taking us through her life, from her strict Christian childhood to her struggles trying to make it in Los Angeles. For a performer who has basically become a living cartoon in recent years, it's nice to see her real, human side and what she had to do to get where she is today. In addition to its slap-you-in-the-face message of "believe in yourself," there are some other reasons to see Katy Perry: Part of Me -- besides her boobs in 3D.
You'll Probably Want to Become Katy's Best Friend
Obviously, Perry had a say in what made it into the movie and what didn't, so this isn't the entire story, but from what you do see, she seems like an awesome human being. There are multiple stories from people who work with her about how she pulled them from obscurity and helped launch their career, she's super nice to all of her fans and she really seems to appreciate her success. People who are already fans will probably be the ones seeing this movie, but if they drag any haters with them, they might be converted.
Tickets to Her Next Tour Will Sell Out Instantly
From the multiple performances shown here, Katy Perry concerts seem like a really good time, albeit filled with young audiences actually losing their minds. As anyone who has ever turned on the radio in the past three years knows, her songs are fun and just a little ridiculous sometimes, which translates really well in a concert setting. Expect tons of costume changes, crazy props and explosions.
There are Very Convenient Webcam Videos of Pre-Fame Katy
Home videos of random young Perry fans talking about how her music has affected them open the film, and while they really weren't necessary, it does lead us into some videos of Katy at 18 talking about her life and goals. It's pretty lucky that she had video footage of herself discussing the exact themes that her future movie would be based on (although if Leslie Knope can do it...). While the fan movies just add cheesiness to a movie that's overall message already puts it close to that edge, Perry's are interesting because they reveal that she hasn't changed too much. Maybe I should break out a video camera myself, just in case.
In Case You Didn't Know, Perry's Parents are Christian Ministers
It's pretty well-known by know that Perry came from a very conservative upbringing because she's talked about it a lot and people always react strongly to it. Oh my gosh! The girl who sings "I Kissed a Girl" is the daughter of Christian ministers! But you get to hear their side of the story for once, as well as interviews with Perry's brother and sister.
Perry's Grandma is Awesome, If Not the Best Actress
A visit to Grandma Perry's house is a sweet, funny moment in the film that shows more of where the singer came from and her grandma seems pretty great. Still, there were a couple of lines that her grandma said that got big laughs, although they seemed pretty forced. She's probably a really funny lady, but with the camera in front of her, she just came across as too rehearsed for a "documentary." Look out for the magazines of Perry on her coffee table though; it's a brief, but really endearing moment.
The Whole Russell Brand Saga is Shown
The best moment of the film may have been hearing the entire theater audience audibly wince the first time Perry's recent ex-husband Russell Brand was shown. Their extremely fast-paced relationship is discussed and their very public divorce actually took place during this tour, so it's all there. Even though Perry never says a bad thing about Brand and he's rarely seen, he still comes out looking like the bad guy.
If You See it Without 3D, It'll be Worth It
While the pink and blue glasses the theaters give out are adorable, Part of Me didn't utilize 3D nearly enough to make it worth the extra ticket price. Considering all of the effects that she uses in her concert, I was expecting much more use of the format. It's really only used in a noticeable way in the last few moments and even then it's not that great. Unless you're really into 3D -- or want the nicer glasses -- skip the 3D and enjoy it as a regular film.
Real Drama > Over-Emphasized Drama
There are some interesting stories behind Perry's rise to fame with plenty of label and contract drama -- enough that the movie really didn't need to overplay it. At one point, as Perry describes a hardship, dramatic music plays as a photo turns to black and white. Really? We all know there's a happy ending, so let's calm down.
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