It’s a bit shite you know. I like Andy Samberg. I like the Lonely Island (for some reason I love Jorma Taccone, like, he’s so fucking adorable. I love him), but this was shite. The film is about Conner (Played by Samberg), a rapper who went solo from his moderately successful rap group and went big time. It’s a mockumentary, at least it is partly, it is when it’s helpful I guess, more so at the beginning at the end, but it’s not cut like a legit documentary, it doesn’t feel like one at all. Andy Samberg has done a mockumentary before (7 Days in Hell for HBO), and it was much better than this. Go watch that instead, it shows he can do it.
In a way I’m finding it hard to describe what was bad about the film coherently so I’m going to start with the main thing and work from there. This is a film about how vacuous famous people can be, how damaging fame can be, and it’s a film starring SO MANY famous people. How can you (satirically) attack fame and be so beholden to it?! The amount of famous people who were in this film is just insane. I’m honestly finding it hard to put across how hypocritical it feels. The biggest modern ‘inspiration’, or I suppose putting it a better way ‘target’ for the kind of fame hungry, mindless, attention seeking and just agreed with celebrity at the moment is Justin Bieber. He’s in the film. And not in a funny way, in a ‘look, there’s Bieber’ way. There are so many references to right now that the film is going to date in only a couple of years too, it’s insane. The characters are almost to a man unlikable, Taccone’s is almost likable except for his complete weakness in the face of Conner (until it becomes necessary for the plot to pretend his character has been the complete opposite). The joke rate is so fast, and some of them are actually funny, although, going back to what I said before, when you’re making these satirical jokes about modern popstars whilst having the popstars in the film you really lose respect for the satire (or at least I do). Some of the more vulgar jokes are funny too, but it’s not enough really. They have some decent songs as well, but the Lonely Island have done a lot better musically before in all honesty. The film does getter better though, the last 20 minutes (when all the characters are allowed to become likable) are a way better film, I’dve loved to see that film all the way through.
The film has had some good reviews, and if I’m honest I can only think they are influenced by how good Samberg and co usually are, by how the reviewer’s a little proud inside when they’ve understood one of the satirical jibes (and understanding it made them feel a bit clever) and by taking some of the jokes in isolation. I just can’t see past how obsessed these guys were with the thing they were satirising, this could’ve been really biting satire, it could’ve been dark, but it was people trying to say a culture is bad whilst simultaneously wanting to really impress it and it felt wrong. Maybe I was hoping for more and that’s why I feel like it’s such a miss, maybe that’s my fault, but this film wasn’t funny enough to cover it’s glaring weaknesses for me.
Although, I’ve gotta say, there’s a song about the Mona Lisa that’s fucking spot on.