Rated: PG

Distributed By:

TriStar Pictures

Directed by:

Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me)


Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne as themselves

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

One Direction: This Is Us

In 2010, five guys tried out for the British singing show "The X Factor." When they failed to make the finals individually, judge Simon Cowell brought the lads together to form a new boy band—One Direction. The band’s first two albums debuted at No. 1 in America, and the group officially became teen sensations.

One Direction: This Is Us blends concert footage with interviews, backstage hijinks and visits to the boys’ homes to show us the “real” story of the band. We see them pull pranks on each other and meet their grandparents. Harry shows us the spot in the woods where he had his first kiss. The boys go camping and talk about whether they’ll still be friends when they’re older. Even though this is a documentary, the director picks and chooses specific moments to make the boys look as normal as possible.

Normal is not a bad thing. But in this case, it’s only partly true—after all, the boys are rich and adored by millions. Their success depends on making fans feel a close connection, even though the band knows nothing about the girls cheering for them. We end up with a fake intimacy, where the boys share personal details about their lives so their fans can imagine what it would be like to be friends—or something more—with Harry, Niall, Zayn, Louis or Liam. Most bands do this, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy or OK.

Like the boys themselves, One Direction’s songs toe the line between wholesome fun and out-of-control romance. Some of the lyrics imply that the couple in the song is crossing lines physically that should only be done by married couples. We also hear some bad words and God’s name is misused five or six times.

There are several dressing room shots of the band shirtless. Onstage at one concert, the lads pull Harry’s pants down, revealing his boxers. A wild female fan flashes the band (we see her bare back). The boys smirk and make jokes about it.

One Direction isn’t more inappropriate than other boy bands have been in the past. The lads work hard to keep up their wholesome image, and if mothers and daughters can grow closer by enjoying the band together, that’s great. But as nice as these five “normal” guys are, some of the stuff they sing about is just wrong. Before you get too caught up in their charm and good looks, ask yourself—is this really the direction I want to travel?

Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com