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Article by Teddy Durgin

One Direction Moves in the Right Direction With New Documentary

Yeah, I saw "One Direction: This Is Us," the new 3-D concert-documentary that's all about the very popular British boy band of the film's title. Don't stone me. A job is a job. And with an 8-year-old daughter in the house, their music has pretty much been on continuous play in our home for over a year now, with such hits as "What Makes You Beautiful," "Gotta Be You" and the new "Best Song Ever." Plus, via the awesome power and clout of this column, I was able to convince the local studio representatives to get both my wife and daughter into the recent preview screening along with about a dozen other moms and their daughters that we know locally. Coming just a couple of nights before the start of school, it was a great end of the summer for the girlies, and I was a hero for a couple of hours before my little one went back to calling me "dud." I just don't know how she learned to take the "a" and replace it with the "u." What's the county teaching her?! I digress. So what's my take? The movie is actually pretty entertaining and even informative for the group's core fans and may even bring into the fold some new admirers. Too many times, when I take my daughter to the movies, I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to cover her eyes or ears. Things have become way too dark and edgy these days. Like, there was this preview trailer for some upcoming dance movie before "One Direction." It was SO aggressive and in your face. I turned to the Mrs. and said, "Uh, when did dancing become so violent?!" Seriously, the footage was all grainy and they all looked like they were going to dance-kill each other. It was like the "Beat It" video, but for real. Sheesh! By contrast, "One Direction: This Is Us" was just a fun movie. Fun, cotton candy, birds-singin' fun. The documentary covers the group's origins, how they were discovered and assembled by Simon Cowell after their "X Factor" auditions, and how they rose to fame. One Direction comes off as a collection of nice young guys on film. They joke around. And they prank everyone - each other, their security staff, the make-up artist, pretty much whoever they come in contact with. And they really play with their fans, too. There were numerous shots of the group dressing up as ordinary people and surprising their biggest followers. And Harry and Niall and the others seemed so grateful for them, because the fans are how they came into being such a global success. And ya know what? That, in turn, made my Maddie and her friends feel special, like they were a part of this big ginormous phenomenon. And we parents had fun, too. We felt relaxed and at ease throughout. I know the film is a white-wash. But in the moment, it makes you really feel like the kids from the band are the kind of kids you'd want your daughter to hang out with. Maybe not in the back of a tour bus or a stadium dressing room, but possibly at a malt shop or a local library. Heck, one of them even bought his dear, old mother a house! Now that's a good lesson to teach. Sigh. I only wish that Metallica had a 3-D concert documentary film that I could have seen with my mom back in the day. Ah well.


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