A look at Katy Perry’s ‘Part of Me’ and other tween music biopics

Katy Perry

This weekend, pop queen Katy Perry gets the documentary treatment in “Katy Perry: Part of Me.” Although more suggestive than her Disney Channel counterparts (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana) or Justin Bieber, Perry joins the ranks of musicians popular with tweens and teens to be sanctified on the silver screen through a biopic/documentary. Earplugs in place, we take a look at these behind-the-scenes tales of a pop sensation’s life on the road. 

“Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” (2008)

Most ridiculous part:
A father with two daughters wears a platinum Hannah Montana wig and says, “I didn’t expect so much screaming.” A 14-second screaming montage follows.

Part where it’s easier to get into the movie:
The dance routines of renowned choreographer Kenny Ortega are juxtaposed between practices and live renditions as Ortega works behind-the-scenes in the studio with Cyrus and the band to nail the theatrics of the concert.

Song that’s just as good or better than the original:
Miley Cyrus (as herself) performs “The Best of Both Worlds”— the theme to her TV show — along with her alter ego, Hannah Montana, who is digitally rendered on a large screen. It’s surprisingly moving.

Part where the artist seems most human:
When Miley Cyrus is dropped during a stunt at one of the shows and voices her concern later in practice, the viewer realizes that at the start of her “Best of Both Worlds Tour,” Cyrus was only a 14-year-old girl on a 54-city tour of the United States.

Notable quotable:
“What Miley writes about is what is real to her, and what she lives. And when you hear the things that she writes, you hear the honesty of Miley’s heart.”— Billy Ray Cyrus

“Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” (2009)

Most ridiculous part:
In the opening scene, the band’s van gets stuck in traffic on the way to the “Today” show in New York City. Within seconds, the JoBros are mobbed by a mass of screaming teenage girls.

Part where it’s easier to get into the movie:
Taylor Swift joins the Brothers on stage at Madison Square Garden to play some acoustic pop with a country twang in “Should’ve Said No.”

Song that’s just as good or better than the original:
During “That’s Just the Way We Roll,” the first live song in the film, the band is aided by an orchestra and some intense pyrotechnics in front of a glowstick-toting, sold-out crowd.

Part where the artist seems most human:
After bodyguard “Big Rob” Feggans wakes up the brothers at 4:30 a.m., they eat breakfast together in their hotel room. Joe Jonas starts to shake the table while yelling, “Earthquake!” It initiates some good-natured ribbing among the three brothers.

Notable quotable:
“There are a lot of fans down there, in the back.”— Joe Jonas, looking down with amazement at the crowd in Central Park for the Jonas Brothers’ “Good Morning America” show.

“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” (2011)

Most ridiculous part:
Bieber grew up playing drums, and in a home video (in which he wears his trademark backwards fitted hat), he throws down a sick beat.

Part where it’s easier to get into the movie:
As Etta James’ “At Last” plays in the background, Justin Bieber demonstrates his signature hair flip in slow motion. Snoop Dogg recommends that Bieber get pigtails like him to win over all the ladies.

Song that’s just as good or better than the original:
When he performs “One Less Lonely Girl,” Bieber’s staff brings one girl from the crowd onstage. Once in front of the crowd, the Biebs serenades the girl while gently caressing her. At the end, he gives her a bouquet of flowers. Aww.

Part where the artist seems most human:
Home footage seems to serve as the harbinger of Bieber’s musical career — as a toddler he effortlessly lays down a beat on a conga drum and strums a guitar that is much too large for his tiny frame. 

Notable quotable:
“Every label said, ‘There’s no platform for him. You need Nickelodeon or Disney. You need the machine.’” — Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager

“Katy Perry: Part  of Me” (2012)

Most ridiculous part:
Katy Perry’s older sister makes an appearance as Perry’s nerdy alter ego, “Kathy Beth Terry”—complete with headgear and braces — from the video for “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).”

Part where it’s easier to get into the movie:
One of the funnier scenes in the movie shows Katy Perry visiting her elderly grandmother, Ann Hudson, in Las Vegas. Hudson, who refers to Perry in her younger days as a “show-off,” is loath to say anything positive about Perry as a musician.

Song that’s just as good or better than the original:
Katy Perry runs through numerous costume changes throughout a performance of “Hot N Cold.” This occurs on a colorful, Candy Land-esque stage that might give you a cavity just by looking at it.

Part where the artist seems most human:
Perry struggles with the decision to perform or cancel a gig in front of her largest crowd in Brazil while in the midst of a breakdown due to her divorce.

Notable quotable:
“I feel a real connection to fairy tales, and I think, in some ways, I live in a fairy tale.”— Katy Perry


Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.


Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…


Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.


U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…


Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."


All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.


Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.


Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.


Flyers need much more from Claude Giroux

The Rangers have successfully shut down Claude Giroux so far, leading the Flyers 2-1 in the best of seven series.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."