Every woman needs to see the new Justin Bieber movie, Never Say Never.
In the words of two young Bieberettes who momentarily pause in their Bieber-shrieking to talk to the cameras during the movie's opening, "He's such an inspiration ... he gives us hope."
And perhaps no one needs the Bieber-brand of hope more than the single woman on the weekend of Valentine's Day. That's because Justin Bieber reminds us what it's like to love, be loved and feel love. And from the moment he appears onscreen until the moment he fades from the 3D spotlight, you're feeling it.
Now, before the Atlanta screening of Never Say Never, I wouldn't have recognized a Justin Bieber song if it kissed me on the lips. No, not even Baby.
Today I can't get those addictive beats out of my head. I'm tapping along singing "U smile, I smile" while I'm making dinner, folding laundry and driving around with my 15-year-old son, much to his embarrassment.
I don't care. Like those BFFs in the movie, I got a shot of hope.
You say you didn't realize Justin Bieber is all about love? Heck, even the bling on his iconic hoodie is a sparkling heart. And he wears it on his sleeve, ladies. Seriously, Justin Bieber and his fans even have their own sign-language -- it's their version of the knuckle-bump: form the letter "C" with your right hand. Now form the letter "C" with your left hand. Put your fingertips together and drop your thumbs slightly... it makes a heart, right? Now imagine that heart as a massive, crystal-covered metal chair -- the size of a small batting cage - flying over an audience at Madison Square Garden, filmed in 3D, girls screaming at the singing sensation who is sitting inside. That's how Justin Bieber kicks off his Never Say Never concert: singing about love from the hugest heart you've ever seen.
And when he yells to the crowd, "There are always going to be people who say it will never happen ... but don't stop believing!" you think he's talking directly to you, telling you to keep believing in yourself... keep believing in love.
The Justin Bieber movie understands the way love makes us feel. Take the moment Justin picks a young, hysterical girl from the audience to be "the one." He pulls her up on stage and sits her down in a high-top stool so he can sing to her, One Less Lonely Girl, and the girl is shakin' in her flip-flops. She is absolutely FREAKING OUT and I am crying and laughing and hyperventilating right along with her. I feel my heartbeat hammering, and then he shoots her a smile that will make you remember the first time your first crush smiled at you...
And suddenly I have become the oldest Bieberette in the world.
You may wonder why I, who was previously immune to Bieber Fever, was at the movie screening in the first place. My friend, Jan Smith, invited me. You may have heard of Jan--she's the acclaimed national vocal coach who works with hundreds of recording artists such as Usher, Rob Thomas, India.Arie, and Justin Bieber. They call her Mama J and for good reason. Jan's the movie's voice of reason, protecting Justin's voice and displaying a tough-love that you'd want your child to have on the road if your child was the biggest teen sensation since Michael fronted the Jackson 5. (In an ironic side note, Jan introduced me to my ex-husband 20 years ago, and that relationship and its dissolution taught me more about love than I'd ever known.)
So there I am, my heart coming alive in a theater seat amidst the fervor of Bieber Fever. I know it sounds crazy and corny, but that's when it hit me: Never Say Never can help us reach for our own dreams, if we're just willing to believe. Because stripped down to its essentials -- without the music and dance moves and lights and costumes -- this is a story that reminds you to never give up on yourself. Never give up on hope. And never give up on love.
This could be your life, set to a killer hip-pop soundtrack.
And for all of us parents raising children in this age of you-can-be-a-reality-TV-star-even-if-you-have-no-talent, this is a movie about a rising star's unbelievably hard work, long hours and determination, blended with optimism, support and faith. Kind of like life itself. My son left the theater pumped, ready to take on his dreams, and more importantly, believing that he could. And trust me, if you know my son, you know he is not the type to buy the hype. What other movie could touch both a 50-year-old divorced woman and her MTV-loving teenage son? Give those producers a Swarovski-studded star. And speaking of divorced women, this is the perfect Heart Day Girls Night Out, because the Bieber movie reminds us that, post-divorce, we are learning to hope again; to define the life we want and shed the people and the thinking that would hold us back. Like Justin's amazing round-up of roadie-family, we, too, are beginning to trust others and respect ourselves. If you don't leave feeling pumped, you really should get your pulse checked.
So no matter who you are, or where you are in your own journey, as you watch Never Say Never, let yourself feel that unrestrained, youthful exuberance ... the feeling of loving love and believing that yes, it could happen to you.
Never Say Never.