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2016 was a miserable year in that a lot of death occurred (Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Snape guy, my dignity, etc.), but it was actually a somewhat solid year for movies. There were some really great Oscar season movies (Manchester By The Sea, La La Land, Moonlight), the big blockbusters hit the mark (Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, the latest in a series of 11 trillion upcoming Star Wars movies), and hey, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was actually pretty damn good (I will purchase a samurai sword and defend this statement to the death). And to top it all off, if we all bang our heads against a brick wall enough times, we might collectively forget that Suicide Squad ever happened. Fingers crossed.
It was also a good year for comedies. Neighbors 2 was funny and surprisingly progressive, Keanu was a great entrance into film for Key & Peele, and Sausage Party was a bizarre, disturbing mess (I mean that in the best way possible). But there was a hidden diamond buried under the sand of random pop culture BS that you ungrateful sons of bitches should be ashamed of ignoring. Last year, the funniest and most entertaining movie of the year was Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Not only was it the most fun film of 2016, but it’s just seriously one of the best and most unique comedies of the past decade. Unfortunately, it lost boatloads of money and was a box office bomb. Smh, fuck y’all.
(Editor’s note: Some spoilers ahead)
The movie is a music mockumentary; think This Is Spinal Tap for millennials. And if you’ve never seen Spinal Tap, please kindly go drink bleach out of a shot glass while belly flopping into a volcano. Popstar follows Connor4Real (played by Andy Samberg), a Justin Bieber-esque superstar with a heart of gold but an ego disconnected from reality. He’s a former member of boy band/rap group The Style Boyz. The plot basically centers around his world tour and the release of a new album, his downfall, and his eventual reunion with his old group. It’s filled with many celebrities playing themselves (Mariah Carey, Usher, Nas, 50 Cent, silly snapchat icon DJ Khaled) as talking heads praising Connor as a musical god.
The film was made by Samberg’s comedy trio The Lonely Island, of SNL and parody rap fame. It’s also produced by Judd Apatow, arguably the godfather of modern comedy. The movie is seeping with hilarious music that’s also catchy as fuck (like all of The Lonely Island’s music). There’s even a Macklemore jab where Connor makes a song with P!nk about gay rights where he constantly reminds the listener that he, himself, isn’t gay.
The Lonely Island’s last foray into film was 2007’s Hot Rod, a bizarro movie about a man-child stuntman that was, frankly, ahead of its time. The film came out right before the social media era came into its own, which is a shame because the entire movie is basically a walking, talking meme. It’s hilarious, but somehow still doesn’t hold a candle to Popstar.
This flick has everything you need. Wanna see Andy Samberg rap about fucking a girl as hard as the military fucked Bin Laden? You got it. Wanna see Usher do the whitest dance of all time with the 3 whitest dudes of all time? It’s here. Wanna see R&B singer Seal get mauled by wolves? If so, you’re psychotic, but don’t worry — you can see it here. Wanna see Andy Samberg reluctantly sign someone’s dick? If so, that’s kinda weird, but again, don’t worry — you can see it here.
Hopefully Popstar will find an afterlife on DVD/streaming and develop into the cult classic it deserves to be. In a modern pop culture landscape that’s occasionally plagued by generic mediocrity (The Kardashians, cookie cutter pop songs, Wally Bryton), it’s unfortunate that such a clever comedy flew so far under the radar.
But it’s not too late to redeem yourselves, go watch this movie ASAP. Rent it, stream it, download the soundtrack, whatever. I promise it’ll make you smile. And if it doesn’t, you can send me death threats. You send me death threats every day anyway, but now you’ll have another reason to. Everybody wins..
Image via YouTube