Candy-coated pop singer Katy Perry reveals the pain behind the lollipops and cupcakes in "Katy Perry: Part of Me," her new concert documentary that looks at her on and off the stage.
And it's all in 3-D, though it's hard to see why unless seeing balloons float off the movie screen does something for you.
Many of us already know Perry's history. The singer's career exploded like fireworks thanks to hit after hit from her 2010 album "Teenage Dream," including her record-breaking "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)."
Meanwhile, her personal life took off as well with her marriage to British actor Russell Brand. This doesn't lend itself to obvious documentary fodder, and surely there are more interesting subjects, but Perry pulls it off, coming off as likable and real.
Captured on her successful "California Dreams" tour (it played Scottrade Center in August), "Part of Me" opens with fans' testimonials. Katy Cats lovingly speak about how Perry has inspired them. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Rihanna are on hand later.
While it's not quite a warts-and-all story, pimples emerge. Clips from concert performances are cannily placed to help tell the story; "Who Am I Living For," for example, illustrates how the music industry didn't know what to do with her.
A teenage Perry is shown strumming along, quite terribly it seems, as a Christian pop performer under the tutelage of her traveling Pentecostal minister parents. She broke away to do her own thing, to much rejection, and there's a funny bit where she reacts to the suggestion that she should be the next Avril Lavigne.
Though Brand doesn't directly address the camera, we see them cuddling during happy times, then he disappears from the film. Their separate lives take a heavy toll on the marriage, and Perry can barely take the stage in Hartford, Conn., depressed over her crumbling relationship. Things are worse at a stop in Brazil, where she breaks down backstage.
References to her stint on the Vans Warped tour and any mention of her well-chronicled romance with Travis McCoy are missing, omissions that make "Katy Perry: Part of Me" live up to its name.
'Katy Perry: Part of Me'
Three stars out of four -- Rating PG -- Run time 1:40 -- Content Suggestive content, language, thematic elements and brief smoking