A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Katy Perry: Part of Me is a 3-D concert film that follows international pop star Katy Perry during her year-long California Dreams world tour. As she's criss-crossing the globe, Perry deals with her marriage to British comedian Russell Brand, which ultimately falls apart. Although most of the concert footage is tame enough for older kids, some of Perry's song lyrics deal with mature themes -- like the consequences of partying and the dissolution of a relationship. But through the triumphs and tragedies, Perry helps teach and inspire her fans that it's OK to be different, that you should never give up on your dreams, and that everyone deserves a fairy tale kind of love.
What's the story?
KATY PERRY: PART OF ME offers a look at the busiest year in the pop superstar's life: her 124-show California Dreams world tour that lasted through all of 2011. But, as the introduction explains, with great success came great personal heartbreak -- an obvious reference to the fact that Perry's marriage to comedian Russell Brand fell apart while she juggled to balance her work with her relationship. In addition to watching Perry on stage at venues in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, audiences get to know the people who made her who she is privately (her sister, parents, and two best friends) and professionally (everyone from her manager to her makeup artist and fashion stylist).
Is it any good?
Unlike other recent concert films that skimped on the personal histories, Part of Me provides an intimate (if slightly whitewashed) portrait of Perry's hard work, ambition, and optimism. Despite her jet-black wig and candy-colored costume confections, Perry is open about her negative early experiences in the industry, her parents' (evangelical ministers) response to her decision to leave Christian music, and her fairy tale-like ideas about true love. If you're expecting a scathing expose about Brand, look elsewhere. Perry is a faithful and loving wife throughout the documentary, because Brand didn't file for divorce until December 2011.
What's shocking about Perry is how fiercely loyal her close circle is -- from her sister Angela Hudson and BFF Shannon Woodward (Sabrina on Raising Hope) to the stylist and makeup artist that Perry plucked from obscurity before she was famous. There are no demons or Behind the Music-style confessions. Even her extremely conservative parents have made peace with their daughter's spicy lyrics and scanty outfits. By the time Perry sings "Firework" -- that perfect pop anthem -- and earns the distinction of being the first woman to score five No. 1 singles from the same album, it's easy to see why so many kids, teens, and adults count themselves as Katy Cats.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Katy Perry is so popular. How did she stay true to herself, even though her labels and record producers were pushing her to be different?
Perry's songs range from emotional anthems to upbeat tales of adolescent debauchery. Is some of Perry's music inappropriate for younger kids to listen to/sing? What do you like about Perry's pop songs?
Does Part of Me give audiences an in-depth look at Perry's life off stage? Were you surprised by anything you learned about her life?
How is Perry's relationship with her family depicted? Do you think this is a true documentary or that it's a promotional vehicle to boost Perry's image?
- In theaters: July 5, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: September 18, 2012
- Cast: Katy Perry, Lucas Kerr, Shannon Marie Woodward
- Director: Dan Cutforth
- Studio: Insurge Pictures
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some suggestive content, language, thematic elements, and brief smoking
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.