Basking in Justin Bieber's Never Say Never

Afterglow
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 23, 2011

Justin Bieber Never Say Never
Our nation is still reeling from Bieber's inexplicable Grammy loss — have the judges gone mad? Did Bieber and Drake split the vote? Is this yet another shocking example of the Grammys' longstanding prejudice in favor of jazz bassists? We could stew over it all day, but instead of dwelling on defeat, let's look back on happier times. Last week, the Phoenix sent me out to review the new 3D film Justin Bieber:Never Say Never. The review gave my distilled thoughts, but now my editors have asked me to follow it up with some further reflections on the experience. I think they're trying to land me a job as Bieber's official biographer.

While the lights were still up, a family with several young girls sat down in front of me. They spent a few minutes shuffling their seating situation. "No, sit over here," said mom. " 'Cause no girls are gonna want to . . . nobody's gonna want to sit by dad."

The first bit of the movie is full of unnecessary crew intros that are never paid off — we get lines like "Scrappy is the hardest-working man on the Justin Bieber tour," information that never proves vital. Haven't they heard of economy of characters? With a set-up like that, I was expecting Scrappy to be the killer in the end.

Baby-faced manager Scooter Braun comes off as far less of a chicken hawk than his name and profession would imply, but let's wait a few years before we make the final call. I mean, Lou Pearlman seemed so reputable . . .

Even if you don't go for his music, Bieber's shoe game is on point; he rocks consistently dope Supra hightops throughout. The night before I saw the movie, I ordered some sushi, and the delivery boy had these incredible purple hightops — I was impressed, but now I know he was just jacking the Bieb steez. The sushi, by the way, was nowhere near as fresh as the kicks.

During his performances of "One Less Lonely Girl," Bieber's designated cooze patrol bird-dog the audience like Def Leppard roadies. When they find the loveliest teen lass, they haul her on stage and the boy idol serenades her with song and flowers while she cries hysterically. I can't help but wonder what will become of these girls, who deliver snot-drenched testimonials of undying Bieber love in backstage interviews. Are they forever ruined for romance? In 20 years, will their poor boyfriends still be going, "Look, I'm sorry I'm not Justin Fucking Bieber, okay!?"

Superproducer L.A. Reid calls Bieber "the Macaulay Culkin of the music industry" — which seems pretty close to racist.

The movie is rated G, but Justin Bieber himself seems to be rated G. When his friends show up backstage at Madison Square Garden, he greets them with some light ribbing: "What are you knuckleheads doin' out there? Causin' a ruckus?" The words sound so natural coming from Biebs — is that actually how he talks? Maybe that's how all Canadians talk. Maybe it's the Canadian equivalent of "Hey shitheads, huff any fat dongs out there?"

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