At home in black-and-white, Justin Timberlake works on a new song on the piano. In his bedroom, he watches as a young woman lies on her back and kicks the air with her legs. She massages his shoulders. Later in the afternoon, he eats cereal in the kitchen. Jay-Z sits on the couch, drinking and watching a basketball game.
At the nightclub, two members of the crew push away a bed. Timberlake sits backstage with one of the showgirls. Timberlake and the dancers rehearse before the show. The showgirls race off the stage as Timberlake takes one last smoke. He throws his cigarette on the ground and walks onstage.
He begins to sing. Behind him, the orchestra plays and the background singers provide their vocals.
He explains the guitarist that he needs a cigar and whiskey tone to his playing at the recording studio. The producer snaps his fingers as he sings into the microphone in the studio.
A janitor cleans the stage while a series of spotlights flash on Timberlake and the dancers. At the end of the stage, Jay-Z takes a drink and then sits on the stool by the microphone. He begins to rap. Jay-Z smokes his cigar at the recording studio.
A young woman dances by the microphone. Several women kick up their legs while lie on their backs on stage. Timberlake exhales from his cigar while Jay-Z raps.
Timberlake jumps in the air as the screen contrasts the black-and-white.
He talks with the producer, zooming in on the notes on his tablet. Timberlake thanks Jay-Z for coming in and recording his part. They shake hands.
On stage, the young woman dips her hair in the water on stage, splashing after she arches her head back. Timberlake and some his bandmates toast the audience.
Timberlake kicks his leg up and jumps on stage, the water splashing as he moves.
For two years, Justin Timberlake worked behind the bar of the nostalgic nightclub. He made enough to get by. During the day, he hustled online for opportunities to record jingles. His friend, Jay-Z told him he would get his chance. Timberlake shrugged and grabbed his tip at the corner of the bar. The long nights were killing him and each day, he saw his opportunities pass him by.
Then, he spotted an audition for a singer as he walked in for his shift. He asked the doorman what happened to the other singer. The doorman told him he found an office job. He marked the audition date on his calendar and started his preparation, inputting notes on his phone between customers.
A week later, he stood in front of his boss and performed. His boss slapped him on the back and told him he had the job. He wanted to know if he had studied music anywhere and why he stood behind the bar for so long. Timberlake explains that he had to pay the bills and couldn’t miss any shifts. His boss congratulations him again and hopes one day he can say that he discovered Timberlake. Jay-Z gives him a bear hug.
A year later, attendance at the bar is up. Timberlake and the band are recording in a studio. Their music is being sold online and gaining a small following. Blogs have started to feature Timberlake. Yet, it doesn’t seem real to him yet.
Director: David Fincher Year: 2013
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.