First of all let me just say that if my editor post this review I will be shocked. Second of all what shocked me the most is that although Never Say Never was nothing more than an expensive rendition of VHI’s Behind the Music I did not want to claw my eyes out by the end of it. I fully admit that I too have done my fair share of Bieber bashing and I also admit that I was unfairly doing so. Because you see aside from a few verses here and there I had never actually heard one of his songs. The phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover” keeps popping up and rightly so.
The movie itself was everything you expect a Barbara Walter’s special to be. A young kid raised by a single mom who doesn’t suck at singing gets discovered and eventually ends up on stage with Usher and Boys II Men. Take that back story add some interviews and mix in a lot of singing and you get Never Say Never. Nothing special right? Horribly overproduced? Cookie cutter? Yeah I thought all those things too. That was until I looked over and saw my eight year old’s reaction to the first time she saw Justin on screen. Have you ever seen pure joy on a kid’s face? It’s hard to miss and rare to see. It made me wonder when had I become so cynical? I will admit that pop music has never been my type of music. Ok so my very first tape was by Herman’s Hermits who were very much a pop band in the 60’s but considering that it was the 80’s when I fell in love with Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter I doubt it can be counted as me embracing pop music.
And while most of the girls my age were sleeping on NKOTB pillows I was wearing out my Metallica and The Cure tapes (I will begrudgingly admit to thinking Donnie was the cutest). So this whole blood curdling screaming obsessive behavior is new to me. If I am being honest it is shocking to me as well. For some reason I never saw Jaden as being one of those girls. Hell she knows all the words to The Bouncing Souls “Here We Go” and any time the Red Sox are playing she will start humming “Tessie” by the Dropkick Murphy’s. See what I mean? This is not a girl who was raised in a pop music friendly household. So when I found out that she wanted nothing more than to see Justin Bieber in Never Say Never I was blown away.
What started out as nothing more than mom being nice and wanting to earn a few extra hugs (yeah I bought some hugs so what) ended up being an eye opening experience. For the first time I was seeing Jaden as more than the little girl who complains when I try to get her to brush her hair or to stop going in her brother’s room or pick up her clothes. I was seeing a little girl experience her first crush. That first real, heart racing, tear inducing crush. Oh sure it may have been an overpriced Behind the Music episode, but it was worth every penny.
I give Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 1 out of 5 boy bands for quality. I give it an extra 2 sentimentality bonus points.