aidan’s review published on Letterboxd :
i should preface by saying that my roommates and i all opened crisp new pairs of red and blue 3D glasses thinking we had the 3D DVD of this film. unfortunately, we did not.
what i will say is that i was not expecting this film to be as thought provoking as it was. opening with a blatant homage to A Hard Day’s Night should have been my first hint that this would be an insightful yet lighthearted look into the life of a boyband operating on the cusp before the internet changed how we consumed media. ironically, though, the insight does not come through when the film tries to provide it, but rather through the music and how plainly the film puts the brothers’ fame.
the music is undoubtedly a product of its time; deeply indebted to early aughts emo and pop punk, but definitely more fluffy and approachable. after herein being entrenched in the music of the Jonas Brothers for 70 minutes, i now see how so many of my friends when i was younger transitioned from them to (marginally) harder stuff like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco.
if you’re looking to understand the era the film portrays, pay attention to how technology is used in the film. at one point during the concert, on of the boys grabs a camcorder from a spectator, something of a relic in the age of iPhone cameras. there is also a scene showing the band going to their CD release at a Virgin record store (the jokes write themselves here), and later, an iTunes release party. the prominence of these two media in the film plainly illustrate both the means by which the Jonas Brothers achieved their success, as well as the technological limitations of an era which was defined by media ownership. could this perhaps point to a relationship between the fans’ actual possession of media and their feelings of entitlement towards the boys themselves? very few acts in the streaming era, as young as it may be, have managed to reach the same heights as the Jonas Brothers did at the very end of the era of true media ownership, and it may be due to just that.
lastly, i must mention the fashion. this movie is going to be fashion inspo for the disaffected youth of 2049 and i honestly can’t wait.
and no, i’m not going to rate this. it is the most obvious capital P Product i have seen in some time, in a way that only disney could have pulled off 10 whole ass years ago. it reeks of bothpure uncut late 2000s, pre-Obama uncertainty and commercial flippancy. i loved it so so so much tho <3 stream sucker on spotify and apple music