|What? You actually want to know what I think about this film? You are interested in my opinions on the scholarly nature (or lack thereof) in From Justin To Kelly? That's a reasonable request, I suppose.|
So I will attempt to list the reason why one should not attend a screening of this film, because there are surely no reasons that exist that would make watching such a film a priority. In considering the MTV-like nature of this film and the fact that it doesn't try to hide behind realistic dialogue or convincing plot (much of the story revolves around text-messaging - what an "in the moment" approach for the producers), one might conclude that From Justin To Kelly is simply a rather longer than average music video. But it's doubtful MTV (or any other music bearing cable channel) would attempt to showcase the songs featured in this film, as they are not the best of the heap.
With the precarious situation in which popular music usually finds itself (especially in the present time with declining record sales in all genres except for Country and Gospel), finding a singer with "staying power" is nearly impossible. Excepting idols like Madonna and . . . well, there is nobody else. Excepting Madonna, there are no other pop icons who have been able to carry their inordinate amounts of success beyond a few years. A popular singer might release two or three modestly performing albums after a gigantic debut, but the names all seem to blend into one another after they've been hyped and swept through the marketplace by advertised saturation.
And it's doubtful, judging from her debut album and the songs in this film, that Kelly Clarkson will be an enduring name in popular culture. She is a blip on the radar screen of popularity - and this film will certainly be one of the items that contribute to the sinking of her career. And given Justin Guarini's lack of acting talent, neither of these "American Idols" will be able to claim that trophy for much longer. Though a small percentage of twelve year olds may be entertained by the insipid songs and laughable choreography, it will be a hard pill to swallow for anyone with more intelligence.
It's far too hard to take this film seriously, but it's also impossible to take it as "tongue in cheek" as the producers may have intended it to be taken. Of course we're not supposed to take serious the spontaneous song and dance episodes, but there is little drama beyond these choreographed sequences. As a half hour music video segment on MTV, this film might have been more palatable, but in a film (a long feature length film), Justin and Kelly wear out their welcome very quickly.
The fact that this film was released into theaters demonstrates the effort the Fox company has placed into juicing their popular television series for all it's worth. But the idea, and the participants, should have stayed on the small screen. From Justin To Kelly might have ridden the wave of popularity as a musical (given that musicals have been quite the thing as of late), but films like Chicago and Moulin Rouge are literally giants in comparison to this piece of over-hyped celluloid, so comparisons between the three seem unwarranted. Suffice it to say that this film is laughably bad, and if your intention is to see it as such, then a viewing might be an entertaining (and laughable) experience.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.