Title: Katy Perry: Part of Me
Released: 2012

Fix: Pop Star Concert Movie and Documentary
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

Pop star Katy Perry is captured on and offstage in this revealing diary of her California Dreams Tour, featuring her Los Angeles performances. The film shares the air of glamour and fun that radiates from this talented and unique artist.

FYA Summary:

“The Katy Perry movie?” you might mentally scoff. (Or not. I’m not prescient, y’all.) “Geez, Mandy. Picking another surefire slambook candidate? Way to shoot fish in a barrel.” But NOT SO, dear reader! This was actually sincerely recommended to me by FYA resident “chef” Lee, so I watched it sans snark. (OK, there was a little bit of snark. That just might be my default setting?)

Anyway. Katy Perry embarks on a worldwide tour for her wildly successful Teenage Dream album. Singing, costumes, and dramz ensue, as the viewing audience discovers — pause for dramatic effect — part of her. But seriously, the movie does get unflinching and uncomfortably REAL at times.

Familiar Faces:

Katy Perry as the pastors’ daughter turned superstar

Regardless of what you think of her music, you know who Katy Perry is. Even if you’ve managed to evade all of her songs for the past six years, you know who Katy Perry is. You’re currently reading this on the internet, so you know who Katy Perry is. 

Shannon Woodward as one of the BFFs

Most recently seen on Raising Hope, Shannon is one of Katy’s best friends, and I will never tire of learning about surprising celebrity friendships. Stars: they’re just like us! Except, y’know, they hang out at cat cafes in Tokyo, and their Halloween game is FLAWLESS

This movie also includes brief appearances from fellow pop stars: Adele! Rihanna! Lady Gaga! Uhhh Jessie J! And ugh, the Biebs. (He doesn’t say anything, though.)

And that part about shizz getting real — this period of Katy’s life coincided with the dissolution of her marriage to Russell Brand. Seeing the two of them in happier times is bittersweet, especially when she refers to him as the love of her life. The emphasis on Katy’s career taking off as her personal life crumbles is a bit heavy-handed, but DAMMIT — if even Katy Perry can’t have it all, who among us can?! (OK fine, lots of ladies. My dramatics have no place for your logic!)

Couch-Sharing Capability: Check Your Skepticism at the Door

If you go into this expecting to hate-watch a Katy Perry documentary, this may not be for you; the trainwreck schadenfreude quotient is basically non-existent. Likewise, if the Katy Perry persona is an insurmountable deal breaker for your viewing party, just watch it solo or with someone more willing to give this movie a chance.

And if your crowd doesn’t care for the music at all, treat the songs as mini-breaks to gab, eat, pee, or what have you. Or just mute it and behold THE SPECTACLE of a Katy Perry concert, because it’s such a delightful fever dream.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Adjust Accordingly

Again, this depends a bit on your musical tastes; I have most of KP’s singles in my iTunes, so obvs I had no problem with her songs. (Plus, post-production likely improved the sound quality.)

Or — I shouldn’t say no problem, since any talk of her earlier material means the lyrically cringeworthy “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay”. Even though I think “I Kissed a Girl” is catchy as hell and I can sing along to most of it, there’s no denying that those songs are problematic.

And not problematic, but just peculiar: the large continent of young children amongst Katy Perry fans. I guess because her lyrics don’t have cusses and she dresses up like candy? Never mind that she sings about phallic innuendos and adorns her breasts like Hershey’s Kisses — kids love that! I don’t mean to sound like the morality police; I just find the concept of a sexy children’s entertainer* to be strange. Then again, I grew up with the Spice Girls, so what do I know?

* To clarify: sexy (space) children’s entertainer, not entertainer of sexy… yeah.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Decent

Y’all, this is a pretty solid documentary! Even early on, it’s clear that a lot of care went into pairing soundbites with songs for optimal segues. There’s a strong sense of cohesion between the clips, with the concert performances and the behind-the-scenes footage flowing seamlessly together. With a boost of depth from its star’s personal life, this movie is an entertaining and insightful look at one of the biggest names in the music industry today.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.