July 5th, 2012
04:47 PM ET
The concert documentary is a curious category, as they're often so perfectly curated you're left with the impression that you didn't get the whole story on an artist.
Such appears to be the case with Katy Perry's 3-D cotton candy-colored confection "Katy Perry: Part of Me," as critics enjoyed the performances, but were left questioning who, exactly, Perry is.
The nearly two hour film paints Perry's path from her Pentecostal upbringing to her struggles in the music business before she hit it big with 2008's inescapable single "I Kissed A Girl," and it also takes a look at the fame that followed as she set out on her extensive 2011 "California Dreams" tour.
Of course, if you're well-versed in your Katy Perry history, you also know that it chronicles her brief marriage to Russell Brand and their eventual falling-out.
The format, writes the Hollywood Reporter in its review, is a "mix of interviews, reality TV-style behind-the-scenes footage and 3-D concert scenes," yielding a film that's "attractively, if conventionally, assembled."
And although THR thought it to be "arguably more of an adulatory artist profile than a bona fide concert doc," it believes that "Part of Me" is "still likely to surpass even Perry’s personal aspiration" to make people smile.
The Washington Post praises directorial team Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, who also produced Justin Bieber's hit concert doc "Never Say Never," for putting together a "startling success."
"Although there are moments when the filmmakers’ fingerprints are nearly visible on the manipulated putty of an audience, the scenes aren’t enough to break the fruit-flavored spell," the Post says in its review. "[F]an or not, it’s hard not to give in to Perry’s endearing charms. The filmmakers clearly want the audience to like the singer - and is that such a bad thing? She is, after all, cute as a cotton-candy-pink button."
The New York Times believes there are "several reasons" why Perry's "Part of Me" "is more interesting than similar movies about Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Most simply, she just has more talent than any of them, and her songs have wider emotional range ... But the film also catches glimpses of the unraveling of her marriage to the British actor and comedian Russell Brand, which gives it an undercurrent of backstage melodrama."
As long as you understand that you're going to a version, and not the full spin, on Perry, it sounds like you can sit back and enjoy the sugary sweet experience for what it is, says USA Today in its review.
Movie reviews: 'Spider-Man,' 'Katy Perry'
"Does 'Part of Me' plumb the depths of her soul? Hardly," the paper says. "As billed, it's a part of Perry she's willing to share. Her skimpy outfits reveal more than this smartly crafted film, which plays up Perry's effervescent personality and colorful biography without exposing a private life she has guarded since 'I Kissed a Girl' stormed the charts in 2008. Expect a big juicy screen kiss, not a kiss-and-tell."
So do you think Perry will be able to pull off a movie hit as big as one of her singles? Are you planning on seeing "Part of Me"?
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