Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #100 – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

RELEASED: 26th August 2016

DIRECTORS: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone

CAST: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd, Edgar Blackmon, James Buckley, Ashley Moore, Bill Hader, Justin Timberlake, Will Arnett, Eric Andre, Mike Birbiglia, Chelsea Peretti, Kevin Nealon, Paul Scheer, Joanna Newsom, Liz Cackowski, Danny Strong and Will Forte

BUDGET: $20m



When it becomes clear that his solo album is a failure, a former boy band member does everything in his power to maintain his celebrity status.


Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary focusing on Conner Friel, a musician who shot to fame with his two childhood friends, Lawrence Dunn and Owen Bouchard, as the rap/pop group The Style Boyz. The group disband however due to a beef between Lawrence and Conner, leading to Conner becoming a solo artist known as Conner4Real and we follow him on his journey to maintain his level of success and celebrity status.


I remember being excited about The Lonely Island trio doing a mockumentary style film since I played their music to death during my years at university and I have to admit, I liked the film when I initially watched it when it came out a few years ago, but it’s been on repeated viewing that I’ve grown to really love Popstar. The songs are clever, from the opening credits number of Humble, to the insane musical number Bin Laden, to the Macklemore parody Equal Rights, to the films climax with Incredible Thoughts. The humour is smarty-written (the moment about what a perspective manipulator, to Conner reading the mixed reviews of his latest album with the only positive coming from The Onion, still makes me laugh) and delivered with deadpan sincerity that makes characters look completely stupid, particularly Conner as he’s so scared of failure he goes to great lengths to appease the masses, from numerous no holds barred vlogs to gimmicks at his concerts. It’s amazing the amount of people they brought onboard to cameo in the film, but it’s the chemistry between the trio of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer that really brings the heart to the film and the last ten minutes of the film will always leave me with a smile on my face.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Conner looking to deflect from his concert humiliation by publicly proposing to his girlfriend Ashley with a performance from Seal and a pack of trained wolves. What could possibly go wrong?

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “This girl requested intercourse to bring her to climax with the clinical efficiency of the assassination of Bin Laden” – Conner4Real (“Bin Laden” Song)

DID YOU KNOW: Several of the songs, including “Bin Laden”, “Mona Lisa”, “Owen’s Beat”, and “Incredible Thoughts” feature Greg Kurstin as writer and/or producer. In 2017, Kurstin won the Grammy for Producer of the Year, as well as Song of the Year and Record of the Year for co-writing “Hello” with Adele.


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