Between comedy sketches and their band the Lonely Island, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone have plenty of experience with both humor and music.  That should have made Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping a funny take on the narcissism of celebrities in the music industry.   But...

Popstar is a fake documentary about the predictable rise and fall of a self-involved, self-aggrandizing star.  Friends Conner (Samberg), Lawrence (Schaffer) and Owen (Taccone) achieved fame early with a gangsta-boy band combination called the Style Boyz.  As Conner became more famous, the band felt stresses and conflict: Owen left to work on a farm, while Conner kept Lawrence on to produce the music for his shows (which is run through an iPod).  The movie begins weeks before the release of Conner's second solo album, plus his ever-more-ridiculously-elaborate tour.  There are also Conner's enabling manager Harry (Tim Meadows) and publicist Paula (Sarah Silverman) along for the ride, plus Hunter the Hunter (Chris Redd) as Conner's opening act whose popularity keeps growing.  And numerous real-life musicians pop up to talk about how much they loved the Style Boyz and reflect on Conner's decline.

Popstar is far, far, far from This Is Spinal Tap -- or the music of the Lonely Island, for that matter.  The movie makes Conner a ridiculous character, and takes his one-note selfishness and runs with it for almost all of the movie.  There are some slightly funny moments, but they're offset by the predictability of the story and focusing on the silly main character instead of the music industry and famous lifestyle.  Popstar could have been so much more...

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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