Like most parents, I often feel like I\’ve sold my soul to Disney for the sake of smiles on the faces of my children. I certainly was dreading the money ($18 a ticket for the “experience” on IMAX) and the 76 minutes of my life I would never get back when it came time to take my pleading teen to this carefully packaged showcase for the boy band of the hour, the Jonas Brothers.
The money and the time aside, you can\’t help but tap your feet to the catchy tunes of this sugary sweet trio. I will admit that the film on IMAX, along with the 3D, gave me the argument with my teen that there was no way she would ever see them that up close at a concert. It was better than being stuck in nosebleed seats of some arena and certainly was a bargain compared to concert ticket prices. I may win that argument and get out of the anxiety of trying to get tickets the next time they are in our area.
Add to that the added bonus of her being able to see glimpses of them in bed, at breakfast and backstage, along with a couple music video clips and she got a real deal for her $18! She even got a shirtless Joe Jonas (and don\’t think that was lost on me – as I am still smarting from no shirtless Chris Evans in Push)!
The film was a variety show. Carefully orchestrated clips and peeks into a life of teen idols. They do their job well and the joy in the faces of the fans in the film isn\’t fake. They even use the word “fanatics” glaringly projected onscreen with its meaning, “A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm.” Damn….maybe they do “get it,” which is to say, they don\’t get it. No reason, but sincere appreciation and overwhelmed awe for their following and savoring the moment before reason wins. They may not be the best of singers (the girls, Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift, were far stronger in their one song appearances), but they play to their strengths and fill the screen with flirtatious energy.
Music is the universal language and the lyrics and pop ditties this trio produces makes these kids happy. Even though I haven\’t been a kid for a very long time, I can still appreciate the power of a lyric that speaks to them about their world and the catchy, infectious tunes that go with them. The little girls were dancing out of the theater with their home made t-shirts proclaiming their love for one, two or all three of the brothers. The smiles were huge. That\’s what the parents paid for, and we got it in spades.
So, where will these boys be in five years? Who knows.
Where are my teen idols? Shaun Cassidy produces for television and Rick Springfield is still fostering a living on General Hospital and making music. They both had their ups and downs. No doubt the JoBros will too.
For the moment, they are still just a pre-packaged product for Disney who will take my money and use it for the greater good of fixing the PR nightmare that is Miley Cyrus or finding the next Hilary Duff. That is clear with this film. The kids will love it. The parents better bring earplugs if they are sensitive to screaming and squealing, but it is still a viable and cost effective alternative to attending an actual concert. Disney may have done me a favor this time around.