One Direction: This Is Us
4 stars out of 5
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 18:09
A movie theater filled with fellow One Direction fans, a safe haven where I could wear my One Direction T-shirt and fangirl spastically without judgment—this was my Saturday night (wild and crazy, I know).
Sandwiched between my little sister and best friend, I put on my 3D glasses and prepared for the emotional roller coaster that was “One Direction: This Is Us.” As a One Direction fan, I find myself with a deep emotional attachment to these five boys from across the pond.
The band, comprised of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik, was put together on the X-Factor in 2010 by Simon Cowell after they each auditioned with aspirations of becoming solo artists. They are relatable, goofy and grateful to their dedicated fans. They often refer to their brotherly bond that makes their experience so worthwhile and keeps them grounded and are also fervently against being a stereotypical boy band.
“This Is Us” was intended to show their personalities, as individuals and as a band, in order to symbolize their nonconformity to the boy band model. Running for roughly an hour and a half, the film documented the boys’ “Take Me Home” tour in the U.K., Europe and Mexico, as well as their sold-out show at Madison Square Garden, and all of their endearing antics in between.
As the film opened with old family photos flashing across the big screen and each of the boys telling stories about their childhoods (and me almost choking on my Sno-Caps out of excitement), the audience got a feel for how important the boys’ roots are to them and the value they place on how far they’ve come.
The film continued with footage from their tour, beginning with “Up All Night,” the same song that began their show. Although the film technically falls into the “concert” genre, it is filled primarily with behind-the-scenes footage of their usual mayhem, as well as touching interviews with the boys and their families. The performances from various concerts serve to break up the different segments or to balance particularly sappy moments with lighthearted ones.
The dynamic of the band is what really set this movie apart from other concert films, such as Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” or Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” which documents just one individual’s journey. The interaction of the One Direction boys gave the movie a special quality that caused even non-“Directioners” (a.k.a. my best friend’s 22-year-old sister) to admit being “kind of in love” after seeing it.
“Upon returning home, I spent 45 minutes dancing in the kitchen,” she confessed. And if that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.
The 3D element of the movie definitely had its pros, but was a bit cheesy at times. For example, every time Liam reached out to the crowd, I am now 100 percent certain he was reaching toward me (and seeing them all shirtless in 3D wasn’t too bad either). However, that element was somewhat overused during the concert footage. Some of the animated graphics shown on the screens during their shows were 3D, and that came across as slightly corny but was still a cute effect.
Admittedly, this won’t be the most earth-shattering movie to hit theaters this year, or ever, but the entertainment value was well worth my Saturday night and $15. So if you’re in the mood for a good laugh, music and other fun things, or just need something to do, you need to go see “This Is Us.”