In "Never Say Never," the abs of a 16-year-old pop star are put in tantalizing 3-D. Will it kill his career?
By most people’s standards, I am not “old.” In some demographics, I still might be even considered a young adult, someone whom MTV can count on to watch “Skins,” because none of those kids could possibly belong to me, not even if I was a “Teen Mom” (another show MTV has convinced me I need to see every week).
Still, I’m no longer in high school, or college, or whatever life stage Zac Efron is in now. And after I walked out of an early Friday screening of Justin Bieber’s 3-D film, “Never Say Never,” I felt like Chris Hanson would burst out from behind the curtain and tell me to take a seat. Do you know there is a three-minute segment in this movie — filmed entirely in slow-mo — where Justin Bieber stands in front of a white canvas getting doused with a bucket of cold water, just so he can sloooowly shake the droplets from his famous $750 haircut? Oh yeah, and his shirt gets wet too. You can see everything. Well, everything that there is to see on a 16-year-old pop star’s torso, anyway. But it was still too much.
The film itself seems to have an uneasy relationship with Justin Bieber’s burgeoning sexuality. Some scenes show him shirtless, the beginnings of a six-pack visible right before the screen is replaced by something a little more innocuous. The money shot comes at the end of the film, though, where director Jon M. Chu put in 10 whole, uninterrupted seconds of the star running around sans shirt. A couple of girls in the audience needed immediate resuscitation, which gave me enough time to look up this MovieLine interview with Chu:
Jon: I asked these fans what they wanted and they said certain things so I always kept it in my mind. But where their heads were at was often different from maybe what the movie needed [laughs]. They wanted shirtless Justin.
And you gave it to them!
[Laughs] A couple of parts! I actually didn’t realize how much we put in until the fans screamed every time. But yes, they definitely made aware of how many times we put it in.
After last night, we are all well acquainted with how insane Justin’s clown posse really is. There’s no doubting that when asking a mega-super-huge fan what she’d like to see in “Never Say Never,” the answer would involve a lot of crooning and rending of garments. After all, these are the same young ladies who physically attacked Justin and his mother in New Zealand, ready to destroy their golden calf if it meant getting a piece of shirt.
But Justin’s still underage by a little over a year (he’ll be 18 in a year and one month, and yes, there is a creepy countdown clock to his birthday online), which places his sexuality in direct opposition to the whole Bieber machine that seeks to glorify him as a tween star. As Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in her article about women and gay men, teen girls don’t want a masculine Fabio. They want a perpetually pretty Peter Pan:
But the post-teen sensation revelations of N’Sync’s Lance Bass and Menudo’s Ricky Martin reveal something about what makes young girls’ hearts go pitter pat. And make no mistake: If you were ever in a boy band, your gravy train ran exclusively on the formidable power of 12-year-old girls.
So I doubt that I’m the only person out there a little uneasy about finding Justin Bieber “sexy.” I’m sure if Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, could have his way, Justin would stay 16 and androgynous until our cyborg great-great-grandchildren finally stopped singing “Baby.” Then, maybe, he would be allowed to flash his abs at us in 3-D for more than a second.
More Related Stories
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
- New track from the Lonely Island features Solange Knowles, semicolons
- Amazon introduces fan fiction publishing platform
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
- The camp-free "Behind the Candelabra"
- Justin Bieber will destroy you if you live-tweet his parties
- Marc Maron on Twitter feud with Michael Ian Black: "We have an understanding"
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis to jury: "You should be euthanized"
- Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video
- Actually, Beyoncé is a feminist
- Marc Maron and Michael Ian Black's epic Twitter battle
- Cannes: Directing 101 with James Franco
- Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of '80s metal
- Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter's suicide
- Steven Spielberg to produce "Halo" television series
- Amazon set to launch fine-art gallery
- Twitter torches Dan Brown's "Inferno"
- Brad Pitt keeps breaking his silence on how boring marriage to Jennifer Aniston was
- Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" to use porn star body doubles
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11