Katy Perry The Movie: Part of Me
Reason for the Rating: some suggestive content, language, thematic elements and brief smoking
Plot Summary: A backstage look into the life of pop superstar, Katy Perry
PopFam Recommends: A good opportunity for parents to start a discussion about Katy Perry and the influence of pop culture role models. Best for ages 13 and up.
Katy Perry. Justin Beiber. What do these two pop stars have in common? Other than the fact they both have devoted, screaming fans wherever they go? Or that every single released climbs the charts? Well, now they both have movies documenting their most recent tours and detailing their rise to fame.
Honestly, I didn't know much about Katy Perry before seeing this movie, other than the fact that her first single was, "I Kissed a Girl." And, honestly, if it wasn't for my children wanting to see it, I probably wouldn't have cared to know much more about Katy and her life. But, I'm glad we saw this movie. It moved me in probably an unusual way...a way you may or may not understand. But it moved me non-the-less, and reinforced my conviction to expose my kids to age-appropriate culture and discuss, discuss, discuss as much as possible with them. But, more on that later.
The movie opens with a montage of testimonials from younger fans who feel a connection to Katy Perry. It's probably one of the reasons she's so popular. She's different, and kids who are different feel a connection to her. Let's face it, what kid isn't different in their own eyes? Katy marches to the beat of her own drum, and kids who have that same creativity love her. Which isn't a bad thing, to have a role model who says, "It's okay to be you."
But this movie doesn't focus on her individuality, but her 2011 world tour and how it came to be. For the costuming and set decoration alone, this concert would have been fun to see. It certainly reflects Perry's fun-loving personality. With a set like a piece of Candyland, Katy's costumes are pieces of candy: a peppermint, Kisses, and sugar dots (remember those dots stuck to paper?). Her costumer, Johnny Wujeck, really did an amazing job with the myriad of costumes he created for her on this tour. Her songs are upbeat and fun to listen to, but parents should listen to the lyrics first, and then decide if they are appropriate for your children to listen to ("I want to see your peacock, cock, cock" and "I kissed a girl, and I liked it" are just two examples).
Perry's personality certainly comes through in this movie, as does her love for her fans. At times when she is struggling with depression and difficult decisions, she picks herself up and puts on a smile for fan "meet and greets" before each concert. Her loyalty to her fans is certainly admirable, as was her devotion to seeing her husband, Russell Brand, despite the emotional and physical toll it placed on her.
What touched me the most, though, as a Christian (and having been raised in a Christian home), was her decision to walk away from her Christian roots. Raised in a conservative Pentecostal home by parents who were traveling preachers, Perry was sheltered from things in our culture her parents didn't approve of (The Smurfs, The Wizard of OZ, and, ironically, secular music). When she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18, she entered a self-proclaimed "rebellious phase," and has rejected her parents beliefs. As she says in the movie though, she still believes in God, and has a relationship with him, but the particulars of what she believes are different.
I certainly want my children to make their own choices as they get older, and hope they have a solid foundation on which to make those decisions. As parents, we try to guide our children, and allow things into their lives at, what we feel, are appropriate times. When do they get a cell phone? With unlimited access to the Internet? When can they watch violent movies? Movies with sex? TV shows that push the envelope? Or listen to music with lyrics that speak of things beyond their years? How do you raise your children, so they enter adulthood on solid ground? That's the question for all parents, isn't it? More than anything, I want my kids to know Jesus as adults, and to reflect him in their actions and attitudes. And so we talk and talk about everything, and, yes, I do my best to protect them from things they aren't ready for, but try to be prepared for when they are.
Parents should be aware that there are suggestive costumes and lyrics, as well as emotional situations that children might want to discuss Let’s Talk About It . While this movie is rated PG, it really is for kids closer to tweenagers. The younger kids I talked to who saw the movie, liked the concert sequences, but thought there was too much talking. Actually, it makes for a good opportunity to talk about a lot of things you could otherwise avoid.
Overall, I liked this movie, and thought it was thought-provoking from a parental point of view, but maybe not the best for younger kids.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• How often do you discuss cultural issues with your kids, and talk about how they relate to your beliefs?
• How important is it that your children maintain your same beliefs as they get older?
• What specific things do you do to guide your children through our culture and still maintain their beliefs?
• What is it about Katy Perry that you like?
• Katy and her sister said they could only listen to Christian music when they were younger. Why do you think her parents made that rule?
• In the movie, fans of Katy Perry said they like her music because she writes about real life. What aspect of life does she sing about that you relate to?
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