Get ready to scream like a fevered tween for Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis! This tour documentary gives you an up-close look at One Direction—in 3D, no less—as they play to packed arenas around the globe. This Is Us mixes concert footage with interviews, hometown visits and behind-the-scenes hijinks.
The spirited lads play pranks, go sightseeing, take off their shirts and talk a lot about loving their fans. They really, really love their fans. Produced by Simon Cowell (who formed the band via The X Factor), the film does play like a feature-length promo, but it's harmless pop fluff. And the 5 guys seem to be genuine friends who appreciate their incredible good fortune. Go backstage now with these VIP deets:
1. 1D Addiction: Director Morgan Spurlock, who OD'd on Mickey D's for Super Size Me, has now OD'd on 1D. He's seen 30+ of their concerts and considers himself a "hardcore Directioner." Although his This Is Us is a standard popstar doc, he slips in cheeky Spurlockian touches. At one point, a neurosurgeon discusses the science behind the fans' response—"They're not crazy, just excited," the doctor says, explaining how the release of dopamine in the brain causes goose bumps and feelings of pleasure. Not unlike a Mickey D's meal.
2. Putting It Together: Spurlock spent nearly 6 months filming the band, and the production crew ranged from just Spurlock running camera and sound to approximately 250 crewmembers working a concert performance. Footage of the band's casual moments—like glimpses of life on the road or visits with family and friends—amounted to 500 hours of material. It was a huge editing challenge, but Spurlock credits band members with helping him and the editors pick the choicest, most personal moments.
3. Best Stats Ever: The doc features live versions of 1D's biggest hits, including "What Makes You Beautiful," "One Thing," and "Up All Night" — but only the studio recording of "Best Song Ever," which was written specifically for the film. That track recently won Song of the Summer at the MTV Video Music Awards. Plus, the music video (containing clips from the doc) broke records on VEVO with 12.4 million plays in one day, making it the most-viewed debut video on the platform.
4. No "Trouble, Trouble, Trouble": Unless you've somehow avoided all the drama, you already know Harry Styles once dated Taylor Swift , who can't quit singing or snarking about their breakup. 1D diehards will be glad to hear This Is Us is blessedly Swift-free. While some scoop about the boys' dating adventures would be fun, the movie makes no mention of their romantic interests, probably so every hormonal fan can project herself—or himself—into that scenario.
5. This Is…Familiar: Does the doc's title, This Is Us, ring a bell? Perhaps you're thinking of the Backstreet Boys' CD This Is Us (2009)—or the posthumous Michael Jackson documentary, This Is It (also 2009). But then, if you're a longtime fan of BSB and/or the King of Pop, you're probably not the target demographic for 1D's music or movie. You're old!