Published August 28th, 2013
"One Direction: This is Us"
By Lemuel Valbuena
The documentary film "One Direction: This is Us," directed by Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me," "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold") is a good ole time at the movies. If you are not a fan of boy bands, you might say this genre only appeals to teenage girls who scream and screech for hours, but as an adult and someone who's had a fascination with boy bands, I can't help but be intrigued by this story.
One Direction is made up of British boys Harry, Zayn, Niall, Louis, and Liam who are between the ages of 19 to 21. They're a group of guys who grew up in working class families, which provides the backdrop for the whirlwind change in their lives. Their big break came from the reality TV singing show "X Factor," founded by Simon Cowell, who put them in a group after they were cut as individual singers. One Direction was born.
The film interweaves footage from the band's live concert at the O2 Arena in London where the 3D magic is put to use, and behind-the-scenes footage as they go on their worldwide sold-out tour.
One Direction is a fan-based movement. Before their songs were recorded, throngs of fans from England made them a success through social media. With top hits on the charts in different countries, their massive appeal as a group exploded including chart topping hits in the U.S.
I particularly liked the message that 1D is a group that got its fame partly because of the hard work the boys put into their brand. Unlike the Kardashians or the Jersey Shore boys and girls who found fame by just being themselves and being part of reality TV, One Direction is composed of guys who are talented singers and entertainers.
There is also footage of them just goofing around as they should, given their ages. Harry (who seems to be the most popular judging from the cheers in the theater) has a bubbly side to him. Zayn seems to be the most serious of the five. And Louis and Liam seem to be next door type of guys anyone can hang out with. Niall is the goofiest one and provides moments for the best laughs of the movie. It is pure entertainment when one of them goes incognito amongst a throng of fans.
Overall, I'm glad that this film was made at the beginning of their careers because no one knows when fame will end. Spurlock does a great job of connecting the audience to these boys as they travel around the world and enjoy the massive fame they have right now.
You may not be a fan of their music, but you will be a fan of their story - a story of regular boys whose lives get turned upside down with their good looks and charm. They have a marketable boy band look and pop ready voices that are not too bad, if you ask me.
As one of them says, "We make boy bands look cool."
"One Direction: This is Us" is rated PG and is 92 minutes long. View the trailer at

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