By Colleen Murphy
I was like a giddy little schoolgirl the whole week leading up to seeing “One Direction: This is Us.” I watched interviews with them and blasted all their songs in my dorm room. I even forced my family to watch their music videos so I could teach them who is who in the band.
Because none of my friends “had time” to see it, my mom, being the good mom she is, took me, her 19-year-old daughter, to see the One Direction movie.
We were surrounded by a bunch of elementary and middle school girls. At the first site of the five boys of One Direction, the theater erupted in adolescent shrieks. My mom looked at me with wide eyes — is this how it would be throughout the whole movie? Luckily, for her sake, the screams did subside. But I thought the other girls made the film fun to watch. I was surrounded by a group of “Directioners” who could appreciate the movie as much as I would.
So, with my $5.75 small popcorn (I only buy popcorn for REALLY special movies, like “Harry Potter,” and I considered this to be a REALLY special movie), I settled into the seat and for an hour and a half and had the opportunity to feel as though I was getting to know Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne on a more personal level.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me”), “One Direction: This is Us” follows the boys’ rise to fame from their humble beginnings in the UK to their third-place finish on the “X-Factor,” and well, we all know what’s happened since. The band wanted to show audiences who they truly are and that they do things their way, hence the title. Cameras followed the boy band as they embarked on their sold-out summer 2013 world tour. Spurlock traveled with the band for six months and collected hundreds of hours of footage.
The documentary was shot for 3D, but I saw it in 2D and was perfectly fine. The concert footage was crisp, almost as if you were actually in the front row watching them goof off on stage as they sang “Kiss You.” The backstage clips gave viewers the chance to see the boys as they prepared for the shows. Yes, this means we got to see them as they changed clothes. Then there were the scenes of the five boys visiting home, exploring the cities they were in and just enjoying life.
After seeing the movie, it would be hard for anybody to not like the boys. Viewers get to see that they are just five 19- to 21-year-old boys who like to have a laugh and who still need their mothers. In one scene, the bodyguard explains how he has to act like a parent to the boys. With five minutes until show time, the bodyguard was seen chasing the group around the backstage area as they ride away on golf carts, skateboards and Segways. Antics like this were shown throughout the movie and made the boys extremely relatable to any person watching the documentary.
The feature film is innocent fun. I found myself smirking at their shenanigans and singing along to every song. Even my mom was tapping her foot throughout the movie and could not believe how likable the boys actually were.
“These guys are disarmingly charming. I challenge you to not like them when it’s over,” Spurlock said during the movie’s press conference.
Of course, I can only describe the movie as amaZAYN, fabuLOUIS, phenomiNIALL, extradanHARRY and brilLIAM. “One Direction: This is Us” lets moviegoers into the lives of five super famous, yet down-to-earth, boys. By the end of the movie, depending on who you are, you’ll either want to befriend them, be them or date them. I’ll take number one and three, please (but preferably three).