Last night I did something I never thought I would do: I willingly went to the cinema, and paid to go see a film about Katy Perry.
My relationship with Katy Perry has been an odd one. Up until about a month ago, I would listen to her songs but was reluctant to like her. There was always something about her that bugged me - at first I thought it was the irresponsible lyrics in "TGIF", or perhaps the idea that Katy was nothing more than a Lady Gaga wannabe.
Sometime between her public divorce and the cheese head outfit it dawned on me that what bothered me about Katy Perry was that she seemed ...confused. Like she hadn't figured herself out yet and was trying desperately to be like a candy-coated version of Rihanna in Lady Gaga's latex. I suppose ultimately what bothered me, was that she seemed normal. And imperfect. How dare she be confused about life! You are a POP STAR FFS. You must be flawless and polished and definite at all times!
Once I thoroughly gave Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection a proper listen, I realised that Katy Perry was, actually, quite talented. And her music video for "Part of Me" showed me that, hey, this girl has feelings beyond wanting to have Alien Sex on Mars or seeing some dude's "Peacock". Maybe her pink/blue/purple hair was really her, and not some attempt at out-doing Gaga's weirdness. Maybe the Candyland vibe was authentic, and not just a desperate ploy at having a "thing".
Katy Perry's part biopic, part concert film Katy Perry: Part Of Me (in 3D, no less!) follows Katy around the world on her global California Dreams Tour, showing us not only goes on backstage, before the show and on her private jet there, but in what went on in Katy's personal life throughout the tour. We see her without make-up, eating pizza, and gushing about her husband Russell Brand. We see her dancing on stage with a spinning peppermint wheel bra and hugging her fans backstage. But then we also see her exhausted, flying from Europe, to LA and then back to Europe in a span of 3-4 days every few weeks to visit her husband who, apparently, could never be bothered to fly out to see her. We even see her at some points almost unable to go onstage due to a flood of tears that wouldn't stop. (THANKS, RUSSELL.)
While film critics have criticised the film for being "sharp brand management" or that the "unending idolization of the amiable singer" will "exhaust all but the most devoted fans" - this isn't supposed to be an unbiased documentary. It's filled with interviews with those closest to her, talking about her difficult rise to the top of the charts, her restrictive upbringing by her parents who are both ministers, and even vlogs from an 18-year-old Katy. You see how her career was anything but an overnight success and how despite being dropped by three labels, she fought desperately to be the artist she is now. (Not Avril Lavigne and not Kelly Clarkson like her various labels had hoped for.)
Should you go see this film? If you like Katy Perry, yes. Absolutley. You will LOVE IT. If you don't like her, why waste your money to go see a film about her?
For any Katy Perry fan, this film is an absolute blast. I left with a huge smile on my face and with a new-found respect for Katy. I might have even cried at some points. (But, saying that, I also cried at Justin Bieber's Never Say Never, so that gives you an indication of what sort of phantom crying threshold I have...)
Katy Perry: Part Of Me is in theatres across the UK, US and Canada now!
Images © Paramount