The same looks I tend to get when people notice my hand-bedazzled Hello Kitty iPhone case. The looks that silently communicate concern and apprehension that perhaps I haven’t yet realized I’m an adult.
While it’s true that I have a particular penchant for all things preteen, Part of Me isn’t your typical juvenile fare. Sure, it’s beyond visually stimulating and every scene is practically candy-coated and encrusted in glitter, but there’s some real substance behind the sparkle.
I’ve considered myself a sort of moderate K.P. fan for a few years now. I sing along to her songs in the car, adore her adventurous style and appreciate her quirky attitude.
But what I didn’t realize before seeing Part of Me is how ridiculously hard she’s worked to reach superstardom (and lest you think “superstardom” is hyperbolic, check this fun fact: she’s the only artist to tie Michael Jackson’s record for having five #1 singles from the same album).
Despite any preconceived notions or contrived stories about her past, Perry’s not a cookie-cutter manufactured pop princess; though plenty of people tried to turn her into one. The movie chronicles her career path, providing an intimate look at her earliest performances and her steadfast resistance to being transformed into the next Avril Lavigne or Ashlee Simpson.
Part of Me also delves surprisingly deep into the demise of Perry’s marriage to comedian Russell Brand. Despite the movie’s fiercely fun, flamboyant aesthetic, there’s nothing sugar-coated about the emotional turmoil. Perry seriously bares her soul in this part-documentary, part-concert-spectacle.
If you think performing in front of thousands of fans is stressful, try doing it for the three-hundredth time with a smile on your face between globe-crossing red-eye flights back home to your husband, trying to save your marriage.
It’s not a pretty picture. And beneath her stunning stage makeup and over-the-top eccentricity, Perry’s just as vulnerable and insecure as the rest of us.
And that’s what makes the singer so likeable and Part of Me so enjoyable. Sure, the 3D effects are pretty spectacular and her on-stage outfits are worth obsessing over, but the heart of the movie is Perry herself.
And even if you can’t stand her music, don’t get her hair, and could do without the judgmental looks you’ll get from condescending pop culture snobs, do yourself a favor and see Part of Me. You might dance out of the theater a fan.
Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D opens across the country July 5, but you can catch a sneak preview on July 2 in 100 locations across the U.S. and Canada by clicking here.