The woman who sang “Get The Party Started” isn’t doing much partying these days. P!nk, née Alecia Beth Moore, may still be thrilling audiences worldwide with performances of that now 21-year-old hit (or was prior to COVID, anyway), but offstage, her life is more domestic, less plagued by hangovers that come from too little sleep and too many shots. Married to ex-motocross racer Carey Hart and mother to two young children, P!nk spends her time in between rehearsals and performances for her 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” tour dealing with the mundane matters of family. Changing diapers, coordinating schedules, managing kid-friendly outings, and trying to make the constant movement of life on the road still feel like home all command nearly as much time and energy as she puts into her famously spectacle-heavy live shows. She may strap into a harness and go flying hundreds of feet in the air while singing to stadiums full of people, but the rest of her life looks awfully similar to that of any working parent with a high-powered, time-consuming job—albeit one that comes with a private jet and coterie of assistants and employees.
If only the documentary following the start of her European tour were half as adventurous as the artist herself. Especially in light of the rollicking aerial pyrotechnics and vocal gymnastics provided by its subject, P!nk: All I Know So Far comes across as downright staid by comparison. Shot over a period of 20 days, from the beginning of the tour in Amsterdam to a pair of sold-out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium, the film is somehow both a little messy and entirely formulaic, taking a paint-by-numbers approach that never delivers anything that wouldn’t be included in a promotional video. At no point does the singer lose her temper, or make a bad decision, or give any indication that things aren’t going swimmingly. The general impression created is that it’s a lot of fun to be employed by P!nk, and her ersatz extended family of dancers, roadies, and staffers all get along pretty well. That may be true to life—her signature candor is on full display here, with little to suggest she’s withholding anything—but it doesn’t exactly make for riveting viewing.
P!nk’s husband and two kids—Willow, 8 and Jameson, 2—are clearly the most important aspect of her life, and large sections of All I Know So Far are dedicated to the pop star extolling the virtues of domestic bliss. In lengthy voiceover narration, P!nk discusses raising her kids, her own anxieties about being a parent, the ways her relationship with her own mother shaped her approach to child-rearing, and so on, all delivered with the sort of warmly generic platitudes familiar to anyone who’s ever had a conversation about trying to bring up a kid. Clichés like “Even when I’m angry, I couldn’t be more proud of my child,” “There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship,” and “My whole family’s crazy—I’m the normal one!” abound. After awhile, it’s clear the singer would much rather talk about all the ways she tries to be a good mom than how she works to be a good pop icon. At times, it seems as though Being A Parent, Am I Right?! would be a more apt subtitle.
That’s a shame, because there are hints of a more interesting movie here, one that might have allowed some real-world messiness to intrude upon the glossy, streamlined narrative. The implication of some incredibly dark times from P!nk’s childhood are quickly glossed over (a reference to an elaborately planned 15th birthday party that no one attended except her mother is awarded a swift happy ending), and her relationship with Hart is presented as a trouble-free 19 years of bliss, which is odd coming from someone whose very public (if temporary) separation from said spouse was the impetus for one of her biggest hits. There’s a potentially affecting scene where daughter Willow is running a 104-degree fever, and P!nk talks about the heartbreak of wanting to care for her yet needing to strenuously avoid getting sick herself, lest she compromise a multi-million-dollar tour and let down hundreds of thousands of expectant fans. But rather than dive deeper into this disjuncture between parental duties and the business of being famous, All I Know So Far immediately drops it, with director Michael Gracey cutting to scenes from the next city on the tour and yet more narration about what a caring and supportive partner Hart is.
That feeling of putting a bow on everything saturates the movie. P!nk herself comes across as open and unguarded, but there’s never enough time spent digging into any one area of her day-to-day to convey anything beyond the generally charmed life of a wildly successful artist. The film briefly addresses the difficulties of being a woman in a position of power, but it doesn’t show us any of those difficulties: P!nk alludes to the ways growing up on the road might be giving her kids a skewed perception of the world, only to immediately double down on how rich and rewarding it constantly seems. Any existential concerns about her life are waved away with a cut to another performance rapturously received by a crowd. (Most appallingly, these glimpses of her fantastical live shows are chopped into context-free 30-second clips, save for a film-ending rendition of “So What”). All of the slice-of-life peeks behind the curtain of her life feel like they were approved by committee. At one point, P!nk off-handedly mentions being “in the bar with Jon Bon Jovi last night, and he was giving me advice on stadiums.” Where’s that footage? It certainly sounds more interesting than the homogenized PR package presented here.