One Direction: This is Us is Safe, Sincere, Staged
- Friday, August 30, 2013
Lest anyone forget that One Direction is famous for its music, plenty of concert footage is interspersed between the requisite day-in-the-life footage. Unlike their predecessors The Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, choreographed dancing doesn't play a big role in their repertoire, so their fast and loose approach to performing makes the whole audience connection seem a lot more organic.
Still, as catchy as these puppy dog declarations of teenage devotion are, it's clear the fanbase wouldn’t care if they were lip-syncing, reciting Shakespeare or singing the phonebook. But from the perspective of a music critic like myself, the fact that One Direction is really singing and adept at choosing covers (their renditions of Blondie’s "One Way or Another" and Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag" both shine) to round out their set list makes the bubblegum a little easier to tolerate.
Truth be told, when you’re clearly not part of the demographic, there isn’t much about This Is Us that'll stick for the long haul, save for potential hearing damage from all the shrieking. But in capturing a worldwide phenomenon that's clearly in its prime, Spurlock does a decent job of highlighting the songs and what makes One Direction tick as people. Be forewarned, though. If you're a parent joining your pre-teen for the festivities, I’d suggest bringing earplugs. Since the oldest member of One Direction clocks in just shy of 22, there’s plenty of goofy, crowd-pleasing shenanigans packed into an hour and a half.
- Violence: The continual shrieking of One Direction's young female fanbase may feel like violence to your ears.
- Language/Profanity: The 1D boys occasionally use words like he--, dam-- and as-. God's name is also exclaimed on several occasions.
- Sex/Nudity: There's a bit of mild sexual innuendo/suggestive material in a couple of their songs. The boys are often shown shirtless. At one point, Harry's bandmates punk him by pulling down his pants during a performance (he’s shown in his underwear).
- Drugs/Alcohol: None
Christa Banister is an author and full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.
Publication date: August 30, 2013
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