Now I look forward to a Morgan Spurlock documentary as much as the next person. What – you have not seen SUPER SIZE ME? What is wrong with you? OK, so WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN seemed a mis-step, now out of date. POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD was a bit underwhelming. As for COMIC CON IV: A FAN’S HOPE and MANSOME, we didn’t get them here in the UK. Instead we got some Sky Atlantic show fronted by Spurlock that was, well, frankly tedious. Spurlock is a star when he puts himself through it, when he tries to tell us something and when he says, ‘I’m not annoyed but you should be.’
Someone thought it was a really good idea to hire him to make a documentary about the British boy group, One Direction.
‘I’m not annoyed, but you should be.’
One Direction is a group the same way The Spice Girls were a group. A bunch of singers and dancers, yes, but not creatively involved in making music. I’m sure Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and Liam can hold a tune. They have a loyal fan base, but do they deserve a movie? ONE DIRECTION – THIS IS US is just a publicity stunt masquerading as a film. It’s a home movie shot on a mobile phone but with production values and (probably) decent sound. The fans will go, but anyone else?
I must admit, though, I’m curious. I wonder what sort of film ONE DIRECTION – THIS IS US would have been if it had been done in the true Morgan Spurlock style. Maybe it would have been like this.
EXT. TIMES SQUARE. NEW YORK CITY. DAY.
Morgan Spurlock is walking down the street.
MORGAN [to camera]: Wow, Times Square. I have not been here since I last abused myself in SUPER-SIZE ME. That's with burgers. What did you think I was talking about? I’m hoping to get a call from Sony Pictures about THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN sequel. [Phone Rings] Oh, boy! [Takes out phone, clicks button] Hello... [Pause] Yes, I have a camera crew with me. They’re on a retainer. You have a picture for me? One Direction. Isn’t that a porno magazine?... You want me to make a concert film? Have you seen my movies? Well, one of them, anyway? Would you ask Michael Moore to make a concert movie? What, and he laughed in your face! What about Davis Guggenheim? I hear Alex Gibney has almost finished his Catholic Church movie; he’s used to hanging out with boys, or making films about those who do. Do I have to be in it? Because if you put my moustache up against real people, I look kind of stupid! ... You know, I haven’t seen THE LAST WALTZ and STOP MAKING SENSE. THIS IS SPINAL TAP is one of my favourite movies. Yes, that’s where I got the look.
INT. DOCTOR’S WAITING ROOM. DAY.
Morgan is sitting in the waiting room.
MORGAN V/O: So I’m going to spend thirty days hanging out with this British boy group, One Direction. I thought I should see my doctor because they’re bound to get up to some high jinks and I want to be able to keep up. I’ve seen A HARD DAY’S NIGHT.
INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE. DAY.
MORGAN’S DOCTOR, a rather unhealthy looking chap, last seen in WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OBAMA BIN LADEN slaps some x-rays on a light panel. MORGAN looks concerned.
DOCTOR: I’ve looked at your Cat Scan – your brain, it’s completely degenerated.
MORGAN: How is that possible?
DOCTOR: If you make this movie, you’ll put your health in serious danger.
MORGAN: But think of the pay check.
DOCTOR: You won’t win that Oscar.
MORGAN: That doesn’t matter. I dig girls.
DOCTOR: Why didn’t you take the part of Linda Lovelace’s abusive husband in that movie?
MORGAN: It was made by documentary filmmakers who graduated to feature films – perish the thought.
DOCTOR: As your doctor, I hope you don’t get insurance.
MORGAN: That’s all right, I’m filming in England. They have the National Health Service. You’ve seen SICKO, right? They pay cab fares.
DOCTOR: Someone is making a big mistake.
MORGAN: You’re too depressing. Why do you think I’ve dropped you from my recent stuff?
DOCTOR: I was in that COMIC CON one as Boba Fett.
MORGAN: I thought that was Simon Pegg. Damn.
INT. GREEN ROOM. BACKSTAGE AT A CONCERT VENUE. DAY.
MORGAN walks into a Green Room to find HARRY, LOUIS, NIALL, ZAYN and LIAM all reading magazines. MORGAN holds out his hand.
MORGAN: Hello, you must be –
LOUIS: Awkwardly posed for an introduction.
LIAM: Waiting for a solo career.
ZAYN: In search of a dictionary.
NIALL: The Commitments?
INT. TOUR BUS. DAY.
MORGAN is sitting on the tour bus staring out of the window.
MORGAN V/O: There has been a tweet in advance of the bus’ arrival. We’re expecting crowds of screaming girls and the odd boy who let’s face it is looking for sympathy from the frustrated young women around him.
EXT. A COUNTRY PUB. DAY
The tour bus pulls up and MORGAN gets out. There is no one there.
MORGAN: Damn! I must have sent twenty Tweets and updated my status on Facebook fifty times. No one cares. I knew I should have sent my camera crew to cover the group.
Newspaper Headline: ‘Singer dumps other singer’.
INT. CORRIDOR. HOTEL. DAY.
MORGAN strides down the corridor.
MORGAN (to camera): There’s been a big scandal. Apparently One Direction only came third in THE X-FACTOR before being more acclaimed than the actual winner. There is a lesson to be learned in this.
INT. PRESS CONFERENCE. HOTEL. DAY.
There are a row of seats with microphones but only MORGAN is answering questions.
MORGAN: Yes, I’m a third-rate documentary maker. After Michael Moore and the kids who did CATFISH I am third. Yes, three is my lucky number. I am an ex-man, third class – if you’ve seen MANSOME, you might think that.
EXT. HOTEL SWIMMING POOL. DAY
MORGAN is lying on a sun lounger wearing an old-fashioned 1930’s bathing suit with matching vest and briefs (striped of course).
MORGAN: I out here catching some rays, waiting for the boys. (Holds up DVDs). I’ve caught RAY, RAY DONOVAN, STINGRAY, and RAIN MAN. It’s really hard to watch them in this location. What? I’m missing something. Some concert footage. No, they’re miming anyway. Better go back to my paper. (Picks up VARIETY – Headline ‘Worst August ever, except for THE BUTLER.’)
ONE DIRECTION – THIS IS US (3D) opens in theatres on August 29