At the premiere of Justin Bieber’s Believe, I encountered a teen sobbing in the bathroom because Justin Bieber had touched her hand. I saw jaded, privileged adults become hushed in JB’s presence. And, this is the first movie premiere I’ve ever attended where a RIOT occurred outside the theater. Yep, the Biebs lives in a world of inFANity, something that none of us can relate to but so many of us want to judge.
If media reports are to be trusted, Justin’s behavior on the Believe tour isn’t exactly role-model territory. With three kids, I’ve gone down this road of kid-star disillusionment before. Back at the turn of the millennium, I was Team Britney, encouraging my seven-year old’s fascination with the girl who swore she’d wait until marriage. Obviously that didn’t end well, but why would I -- or any of us -- expect anything different? Life on the road is notoriously a nonstop party full of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, so why would it be different for Miley, Rihanna or Chris Brown? Or Justin Bieber? Now, remember how hard it is to be 19 when you’re not famous. I certainly wouldn’t want the press to trumpet the bad decisions I made at that age (oof, my first year of college… not my proudest year).
I feel protective of Justin Bieber. The hate that has come his way for the last five years is baffling. Here’s a kid who has worked throughout his entire teen years -- the most formative time of his life. Here’s a kid who keeps his mother and pastor close. Here’s a kid who has given immensely to charity and tried to do right. And here’s a kid who expresses self-awareness with respect to the pitfalls associated with his unique position. The pop icon does not always succeed, but it sure seems like he is trying. So while I wouldn’t call myself a Belieber, in Justin Bieber, for now, I believe.
Here are three movies to see with your family this week:
Justin Bieber’s Believe. Know that this is a concert documentary for fans, not for haters. The film addresses but does not explore the scandals, really, the way we parents want it.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Still got family in town? This is the movie to please everyone from grandpa to little sister.
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D. Movies for little kids are few and far between, but this story of the life of a Pachyrhinosaurs will mesmerize little ones without scaring them.
Find out what kids think about these movies at KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.