One Direction This is US

One DirectionAs a loving Aunt of a tween girl I approached our outing to ‘This is Us’ with a stiff upper lip and the conviction that, if the film was awful, it was nothing that I couldn’t endure for 90 minutes or so.  It wasn’t awful.

One Direction is not lacking talent.  But they have the visual perfection that I imagined came from snatching Tweens departing Justice at the mall and placing them in focus groups to get the right hair styles and wardrobe for the boy band.  Nothing unusual about that – Nashville does it all the time.  Is there a male country singer with anything less than sculpted biceps accented by tight fitting t-shirts?

The music is not bad.  The story is not uninteresting.  In fact, it’s an interesting case study in how social media (namely Twitter) contributed to a multi-million business that is One Direction.  The worst thing about ‘This is Us’ is the theater audience.  And that’s more me than a reflection on the merits of the movie or the band.  Be sequestered with dozens and dozens of excitable preteen girls would fray the nerves of anyone over 21.

One Direction ‘This is Us’ delivers a satisfying product to its target audience.  And even those of us outside their target audience.  My niece assured me this was “so much better than the first movie!”

The mania around One Direction is easily compared to Beatlemania (I found myself wondering what Beatlemania would have been like with social media fueling it) but respectfully the documentary stops well short of comparing One Direction to the Beatles.

The film is a fluff piece, carefully crafted to put everyone in the best light – and it works.  At the end of the movie I found myself hoping that all five of these likable young men would not have a Behind the Music-type end to their career.