Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Rated 3.0

Andy Samberg stars alongside his The Lonely Island comedy teammates Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (the latter two also directed) in this likable but limp music mockumentary. Samberg plays pampered and narcissistic ex-boy band member Conner Friel, re-dubbed Conner4Real for a white-hot solo career, and prepared to drop his revoltingly self-aggrandizing sophomore album as the movie opens. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping features the same number of gratuitous celebrity walk-on “jokes” as any other Judd Apatow production, but for once this lowest-common-denominator tactic actually fits the material. At this point, though, it’s hard to imagine a subject less ripe for genteel satire than music industry excess, and yet even the best bits of Popstar are utterly fangless. There are some laughs, especially in the brisk opening half, but the joke wears thin pretty quick, and the plot-heavy final third assumes an emotional connection that the film never even tried to create. D.B.