Last week I happened to be on Twitter when the announcement that there would be a contest for two screenings of the new Backstreet Boys documentary “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”” was made. Being that I am a Jersey girl and a short train ride away from the city, I said what the heck and sent in an e-mail for the New York viewing.
A few days later I was happy to find that I had be one of the chosen and started planning my trip! A couple of days after that (and one cab ride with the scariest driver ever) I found myself on line outside the Tribeca Theater with my guest and new friend Angie and some other lucky fans.
Since we were told to arrive an hour early, we stood patiently waiting in anticipation of what was to come. And what does one do while waiting??? One planks! At least they do if they are me and if they are attending a movie co-staring Nick Carter…one of their “plankspirations”. 🙂
Once inside we gave up our cell phones in return for a seat in the small theater. Shortly after 6 o’clock, producer Mia Bays stepped up to the microphone to address us. She spoke a bit about the process and also asked us not to give away too much of the film afterwards to those who haven’t seen it…in other words “no spoilers”. These are my words as she spoke quite eloquently and you could tell how much the project meant to her and all involved. She alluded that herself and the crew weren’t big fans when they started, but that they now are.
Then the lights went down and it was showtime!
I’m not going to tell you exactly what happened in the movie…it’s not my place. But what I am going to write about is how the documentary made me feel and what I took from it.
Twenty years is a long time to cover in under two hours, but I think it was done brilliantly! The movie flashes back and forth between past and present with old footage, newer footage, and interviews with the five Backstreet Boys.
I teared up more than once…in fact I think each of the guys were responsible for that at one point or another. The tears actually fell at three points…thank goodness for dark rooms!
We saw the group transform from boys to men and how that did not go without some bumps and hiccups in the road. We also see that the road still isn’t always smooth and that there are still hills they need to climb. There are some raw moments and even painful ones to watch. Two decades in and out of the spotlight…there is bound to be some baggage and some lingering issues. They are only human. And that’s the cool thing…we get to see that side of them as possibly never before.
There was also a good amount of levity and smiles! These dudes are funny and the way they play off of each other is magical…a mix of chemistry and history at it’s best! I laughed out loud many times and I was certainly not alone!
You can see their tight bond and feel their love for what they do, who they are, and especially for each other. Not just five men in a vocal group…five brothers.
I adored watching each “boy” take their fellow bandmates back to their hometowns. It was also responsible for two of the times my tears fell…cue the tissues please! Watching them share their pasts with each other was touching and felt like we were being invited to witness something really special and emotional.
You know the sign of a good thing when you don’t want it to end…and I did not want this to end!
As a relatively newer Backstreet Boys fan, I surely don’t know nearly as much as most of my fellow movie goers do. I think that put me in the position of being able to look at the film from a unique perspective and different eyes. I had not seen a lot of the early footage…did not know all of the backstory…had not seen all the old dance moves. (yeah…I mean the OLD stuff…priceless!)
That being said, I really think you don’t have to be a big fan of the band to enjoy this movie or take something away from it. And I bet this fun ride through the past could even win some new folks over…or at least the music would!
After the viewing, Mia Bays (pictured here with me) was lovely and spoke with us fans and answered our questions in the lobby.
It was wonderful to be able to tell her how much we enjoyed her work and the work of all those that spent so much time making it right. Again we talked about trying not to go into too much detail about what we saw so as to let other fans experience it for themselves. Sadly, I’m sure you can find all the spoilers you want on twitter as I write this. The truth of the matter is that you can read them all and still will not get the full picture until you see the movie, so maybe it is best to reserve judgement until you do.
So what was my take-away from “Show “Em What You’re Made Of”?
I learned that Kevin Richardson is really a funny dude…probably made me laugh the most.
Howie Dorough can always put a smile on my face!
I have a new and deeper respect for Brian Littrell.
A.J. McClean is just awesome…from his hair down to his polished toe-nails.
And Nick Carter is so very passionate and his past has not dictated his future.
Lastly, I left the viewing excited about the future of The Backstreet Boys and hoping for another documentary 20 years from now. Perhaps titled: Still Showing ‘Em What We’re Made Of!
Hugs and Planks!
p.s. I am so very thankful that I was given this opportunity! It is even more special for me since the theme of this year’s PlanksGiving Planks-A-Thon for Stand Up To Cancer is “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”. Details on how you participate/support this event will be coming soon…I am more inspired than ever now!