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One Direction hits the big screen

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Film shows behind-the-scenes look at British teen sensations

By Becca Owsley

A band of British guys invades American shores once again in “One Direction: This is Us.”

Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, aka One Direction, have taken the world by storm and stolen the hearts of teeny-bopper girls everywhere.

In this rockumentary, the boys take audiences behind the scenes of their world tour and reveal their true nature — goofy.

The film does have its low points. They really are just a bunch of young guys who pants each other and flick boogers at one another. Boy high jinks abound and viewers wonder how they ever get anything accomplished or if their tour manager goes home at the end of the day and bangs his head against a wall.

But that’s also part of the charm. The audience gets a glimpse into member’s lives to learn they are a bunch of normal guys who perform in front of thousands of screaming fans for a living.

When I first sat down to review this film, I wondered why a boy band concert film had a place in theaters instead of on MTV or VH1. But then I thought about the 1950s and 1960s and a man named Elvis. His films were not concert movies but if Elvis sang and shimmied in a movie it brought out the crowds. To be honest, they basically were feature-length music videos with a little story and plot thrown in.

But the basic premise was the same as showing a film with One Direction in it. The producer’s desire is to fill the seats with teenage girls who will swoon over what they see on screen.

Yes, they swoon here in Elizabethtown as well. As I left the theater I saw two gals dressed in sparkly Union Jack T-shirts ready for their One Direction movie experience. A couple other girls were dressed as if they were going to a concert.

And there’s another draw to this kind of concert film. Tickets to see some of these big names can cost more than $100 and are hard for many fans to afford. While adoring fans can’t see One Direction live, they can get a glimpse of a One Direction on-screen concert with a little back story about the band and high jinks thrown in.

So, in the end the film serves its purpose. It will draw teenage girls into the theater and probably sell more albums or downloads, whatever the young folks do today.

It’s also released at just the right time. In the middle of a slow and, to be honest, bad movie season it’s actually more entertaining than many of the films currently in theaters.

Showing my age, I didn’t swoon over the young, goofy guys but related more to the mothers interviewed. They expressed joy at seeing their sons succeed and the fear of what to do if one day it all falls apart. You don’t often see that side of fame — a mother’s worry.

The film doesn’t really have a plot or storyline to critique. It’s a concert movie. And it didn’t turn me into a One Direction fan.

But, if you have a teenage girl and you weigh $8 at the theater versus $100 or more in an arena full of screaming fans, it’s worth the money.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

“One Direction: This is Us”
Rated PG for mild language
Release date: Aug. 30  
Runtime: 92 minutes
Rating: It’s a teenage concert film

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