One Direction: This Is Us
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Dear One Direction,
I have decided to write this review in letter format as, after seeing your film, I feel that I know you all on a deeply personal level. I’ve seen interviews where your parents tear up (shout out to Morgan Spurlock–the director of this movie and, yes, Supersize Me–for thinking that a heartfelt telephone conversation between mother and son, halfway across the country, both being filmed by massive camera crews, seems organic). I’ve also seen Zayn sleeping, heard Liam’s hard knock plans to pursue a career in factory work if music didn’t come through, and witnessed various other supposedly impromptu conversations where the four of you discuss precisely how shocked and awed you are by your newfound success. So now I feel like we’re all good friends. That was the point, right?
I have very little to say about this film that is either overwhelmingly positive or negative. It was an hour and a half spent listening to the four of you speak, while learning absolutely nothing real about you. I had no emotional attachment to you prior to this film, but I now truly do understand why millions of girls would rather have playdates with you than their My Little Ponies. You embody the term vanilla. These tween girls are able to look at you and see exactly what they want: you exude lack of personality and therefore have no chance of offending any of them. Based on this film, it seems like the four of you (I don’t pretend to think Louis was invited) screened Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and decided to make the exact same film, but with an effort to establish personas that seem less like annoying gerbils that you can’t kill.
But, One Direction, I don’t think you are as overwhelmingly vanilla as you seem. I’m fairly convinced at least one, if not all of you, has a massive coke problem. An exploration of this addiction could’ve provided just the right amount of raw drama to give this film some edge. For a group that is so supposedly humble, you compared yourself to The Beatles about 300 times too many. Instead of exclusively interviewing people on your payroll, why not interview Ringo Starr to see if he thinks he’s more of a Niall or a Liam? His confusion with “what the fuck is a one direction” immediately following your comparisons could’ve earned you an Oscar.
The one thing I’m sure of is that there is some drama in this group over the fact that no one in the world likes Louis (I just had to Google his name). Yes, I’m talking about the fifth one whose voice is higher than Zayn the minute those cameras turn off. There is even a palpably awkward moment when one of you (out of the clear blue sky, I’m sure) asks if you all think you would still be successful without any one individual. The camera then, I swear to god, zooms in on Louis (who is allowed about 3 minutes of total screen time in this movie) as he shifts uncomfortably in his seat. Of course one of you saints swoops in and assures the group that the band could only ever work as a whole. Well done, I didn’t realize this film was partly satirical. But I have to tell you, One Direction, America is not buying it. America knows that Louis has sucked since day one. Why not drop the façade and drop Louis? Taking this bold step on camera could’ve allowed for a second movie profiling Louis as he journeys home to start a life away from fame and fortune. The Shyamalan twist, of course, would come when he realizes that no one in even his hometown recognizes him and Harry stole all his money for cocaine.