Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

5 Boys on a Joyride 'One Direction' Captures Band Having Fun

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

5 Boys on a Joyride 'One Direction' Captures Band Having Fun

Article excerpt

One Directions fans are going to love "This Is Us" because the lads are predictably cute, funny and charming, and there's not a drama queen in the bunch.

And that's part of the problem.

The Justin Bieber movie "Never Say Never" had the YouTube phenom's voice breaking down before the big Madison Square Garden show. The Katy Perry film "Part of Me" had her marriage breaking down in the heat of the tour. Director Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me") has no conflict whatsoever to drive a plot for this tour souvenir. We're left to be entertained by their bubblegum music, bubbly personalities and happy camaraderie.

If you've spent your life toiling to put a successful band together, or maybe just concocting get-rich schemes, you will pale at Simon Cowell's description of One Direction's formation. The five Brits, from modest upbringings, were individual contestants on the British singing show "The X Factor." When none was strong enough to advance on his own, Mr. Cowell pulled them aside and told them they were a group. "I made a decision. I made it in about five minutes." With that, the One Direction blockbuster franchise was born.

It started with a failure in another "X Factor" round that sent fans rallying to Twitter and the gates of the TV network. One D rode on that post-loss hysteria, giving the group and its fans an us- against-them underdog status that hasn't diminished.

Experts turn up to proclaim that they've never seen a boy group rise so rapidly. One goes so far as to say they have a rock edge, which is a bit of a stretch. A neuroscientist is called upon to explain that "the girls are not crazy, the girls are just excited." Meanwhile, members express just a little embarrassment about even being in a boy group. But what the hell ...

"This Is Us" hits the road for a worldwide tour interspersing concert footage with backstage high jinks. They ride skateboards, steal golf carts, dance terribly, trick fans with disguises and create a wild, screaming scene wherever they go. …

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