Ask most people what a documentary is and they’ll say something like "an in-depth look at a social or moral issue," or "a nonfiction film" or "something super boring that my parents watch." The latest in the genre from Morgan Spurlock, one of the world’s most popular and successful documentarians, is none of the above.
Spurlock’s One Direction: This Is Us may just be light, fun entertainment packaged as a documentary, but it's very likely to become the year’s box office-topping documentary and a bona fide commercial hit in most of the world because it delivers on its agenda: to feed the fantasies of young girls by giving a sanitized glimpse into the singers’ personal lives.
The most revealing thing in One Direction’s concert doc is the boys in their boxer briefs. We meet their mothers but certainly not their girlfriends. Several of these boys are 21 but they never take a drink and appear to go straight to sleep after they finish up a show. One Direction, as depicted in the documentary, is the opposite of rock 'n’ roll – no sex, no drugs – just the way wary parents like it, thank you very much. As a mom sitting next to her 12-year-old daughter, I’m relieved this is the story director Morgan Spurlock chooses to tell. The documentary is a great deal of fun and 1D fans will want to see it over and over again, but let’s be honest. It should probably be titled One Direction: This Is Who You Want Us to Be.
Here are three movies to see with your family this week:
One Direction: This Is Us. No lessons about hard work in this movie, but the music doc does present an example of good luck being when opportunity meets preparation.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Mix Twilight and Harry Potter and you get The Mortal Instruments. Respect the 13-year-old minimum: TMI is a little scary, a little freaky, and a little sexually aware.
Planes. For little kids, achieving the impossible is riding a bike or getting all the way across the monkey bars. Dusty, the little crop duster that could, shows kids that they should believe in themselves even when older siblings and playmates don’t.
After you see the movie, have your kids review it at KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.