KATY PERRY: PART OF ME – Review by Susan Granger

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Thousands of little girls dream of becoming pop stars – but Katy Perry did it, reigning supreme as the only female artist to have five chart-topping singles from one album.

In this documentary, directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”) intercut concert footage from Perry’s “California Dreams” 2011 world tour with backstage scenes, vintage home videos and intimate interviews and glimpses of family and friends, including ex-husband, British actor/comedian Russell Brand, whom she divorced while the movie was being made.

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was born on October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. Guided by her Pentecostal minister parents, Katy and her siblings were strictly sheltered, forbidden access to stories like “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz,” which were considered “satanic.” They couldn’t consume “pagan” Lucky Charms breakfast cereal or watch “The Smurfs.” They weren’t allowed to see “Sister Act” although their parents relented by the time “Sister Act II” rolled around. While it’s not surprising that Katy got her start as a Christian gospel singer, her ambitious transition from acoustic/hotel crooner to dazzling megastar is amazing.

Influenced by Alanis Morissette’s feminism, Katy’s first hit was the mildly scandalous “I Kissed a Girl,” which aptly reflects adolescent bi-sexual curiosity. With Katy Perry, what you see is what you get. Offstage, she’s still an attention-seeking kewpie doll, working hard to achieve her Candyland artistic persona and allowing filmmakers to chronicle even her most tearful, melodramatic moments of marital despair, occurring just before a huge outdoor show in Brazil.

One cannot help admiring how Katy pays rapt attention to her fans, one of whom admits, “She tells me it’s okay to be me,” while another burbles, “I’ve been listening to her since I first heard her!”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Katy Perry: Part of Me” is a sparkly, sequined 7, aimed at fanatic preteens who dissolve when Katy, as she rises from a hole in the stage to perform before a packed stadium, confesses: “This moment is my childhood dream come true.”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.