Concert films follow a pattern. The star sings the hits, intercut with breathless fans and reflective interviews. Rare is the music doc that captures a moment as poignant as one toward the end of Katy Perry: Part of Me.
Perry was raised in her parents' Pentecostal ministry in California, where every movie was banned except Sister Act 2. Her teenage dream blossomed when she heard Alanis Morissette and realized she could write songs about her emotions, not just about God. At 18 she moved to Los Angeles, where her bubbly manner and colorful wardrobe piqued the interest of record executives. But Perry was the one who shrewdly picked the self-penned "I Kissed a Girl" as her first single, and her fame exploded, her Katy Kats worshipping her with the same fervor as Gaga's Little Monsters.
She says all she ever wanted was to be on stage in a glittery costume with thousands of people singing along. This wish is granted as she sings her infectious pop peppermint drops to adoring hordes during her yearlong tour. Katy twirls in her tarty Candy Land costumes on stage, as her marriage to Russell Brand begins to splinter off the stage. Reality TV producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz assembled 300 hours of already-shot footage into a compelling rock doc narrative with a bittersweet coda.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Summer stars."