Interestingly enough, Popstar is not entirely concerned about crafting a surreal world of excessive celebrity ridiculousness. Nay, in fact, its primary purpose is adding a healthy dose of progressivism to the typical showbiz redemption story. Just consider what is perhaps the film’s most buzzworthy moment: Connor4Real (Andy Samberg) has been tricked into an attempted reconciliation with his Style Boyz bandmates. So far, so typical. As he brags about and demonstrates his female fans’ penchant to ask for mammary signatures, a male fan is actually flopping his member around, with Connor embarrassingly unaware until it is too late to politely decline the request. Popstar demands that the Connor4Real’s of the real music world put their money where their mouths are and not let their egos get in the way of endorsing civil rights.
The specialty of Samberg, Akiva Shaffer, and Jorma Taccone in Lonely Island mode is surreal surprise with just enough accessibility. That element is present in Popstar, but ultimately they are challenging themselves with something more (for lack of a better word) “real.” They do not sacrifice either element, making for an unwieldy tonal mix, and they could use some more idiosyncrasy in the telling of the narrative, but it is a valiant, valuable effort.
I give Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping 250 Stops and 750 Never Stops Out of 1000 Attempts.