Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Katy Perry: Part of Me

The answer: "Savages," "Ted," and "The Amazing Spider-Man." The question: Name three current films rated less fresh on Rotten Tomatoes than "Katy Perry: Part of Me." The young lady tearing tickets posed perhaps the most superfluous question of all time. "Do you want the regular 3D glasses," she asked me, "or the special pink ones?" I'm here for the Katy Perry movie. It's axiomatic that I want the special pink ones. But "Part of Me", an anodyne concert film / authorized biography following the pop superstar and her legion of Katy Kats on the yearlong, worldwide "California Dreams" tour that coincided with the breakup of her marriage to comedian Russell Brand, may be the least 3D-worthy movie ever released in 3D.

Pink and the rest of its rainbow of colors explode across the screen just fine in any dimension, as do Perry's record string of #1 hits. She puts on a good show, giving her target tween-girl audience all they come for and working overtime at countless backstage meet-and-greets. When she uses the tour's infrequent rest dates to jet around the globe to spend time with Brand, the strain brings her - and their relationship - to the breaking point. There's a surprisingly touching moment before Perry takes the stage in Sao Paulo, doubling over in tears as her marriage collapses, then slapping on the persona of giddy goofiness just as she is airlifted into view.

It does seem a decade or three too soon for a Katy Perry biopic, and the movie could use a few words from disinterested observers. Whatever you think of her, Perry is not without talent, and a bit of critical approbation could only burnish her image. As it is, there's a palpable dissonance between the lyrical brilliance proclaimed by effusive hangers-on and songs like "Let Me See Your Peacock." And with a bunch of gay boys in both her entourage and her audience - and a debut called "I Kissed a Girl" - the wholesale absence of the G word is striking. Still, if I had a couple hours to kill, I'd sooner watch "Part of Me" again than, say, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

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