Years before the popularity of One Direction and BTS – and #Nickyanka – soared, there once existed a boy band very special. More so, because they were family.
The Jonas Brothers, or, in fan terminology, the JoBros.
Formed in 2005, this group of three brothers Kevin Jonas – the eldest one, Joe Jonas – the middle one and Nick Jonas – the youngest one, created a hysteria of sorts back in the day. They were the beloved Disney kids who sang, played the guitar, acted and performed everywhere. Together. They were this tight unit of teenagers who had such incredible chemistry amongst each other that the energy was almost palpable – even for me, miles and continents away in India.
I remember being a tiny kid when I got hooked to their rendition of Give Love A Try One More Time, a song I had first heard on their Disney show, Jonas. And that’s when it all began for me. One song after the other, I went through the whole of the internet just to hear whatever they sang. Lovebug, Goodnight and Goodbye, Year 3000, I heard it all, and I loved it all.
Needless to say, like me, several fans all over the world swooned over the JoBros, just that it was all abruptly stalled one fine day, and it all became a regular topic of throwback for a regular 90s child. Nick, of course, gained huge popularity as a solo artist, but Joe and Kevin remained in the background in comparison. While Kevin started a family, Joe became the lead singer of pop band DNCE. But the magic of the JoBros, together, continued to linger on somewhere.
And that’s when Amazon Prime’s Chasing Happiness came to be. It became the 96-minute documentary of the brothers that would go on to pave the way for them to rekindle the spark the JoBros once had.
The whole process of forming the documentary literally helped them spend more time together and bury their hatchet – which is why we now have the foot-tapping and spunky Sucker to enjoy on our music channels – and that shows. The three of them open up and discuss about themselves, their journey so far, as a team, as individuals, in a way that also displays the rawest of their emotions. Take for example, when Nick and his family and band members talk about him getting diagnosed with diabetes, or when Joe is talking about the band breaking up, and he is in tears, saying that he really expected the brothers to always be together. Or when their father says that there have been several sibling bands that have fallen apart in the past, and they hate each other now, but not his boys. Or when Kevin confronts Nick and Joe about a performance where the two of them sang Jonas Brothers songs, excluding him – the hardest moment of his life, he reveals.
There are clips from their childhood, from their band performances, their old house, and they delve upon almost everything – right from Joe being a goofball, Nick being pretty much a prodigy and Kevin being the one with the most unique interests – and you almost feel like you know them. Of course, a lot of things are revealed too – their increasing popularity scaring them, their up and down association with Sony and Disney, how they disliked people making fun of their purity rings – but none of it is dramatically done. Instead, it’s all refreshingly understated and subtle, like it happens in a discussion – and yet, it’s all very interesting, coming from them. Disney fans would love how Kevin talks about Nick’s crush on Miley Cyrus when the Jonas Brothers had made a cameo on Hannah Montana, and goes on to reveal that it was after meeting her that Nick started writing love songs. Cute, isn’t it?
Overall, Chasing Happiness is a must watch, especially for those who know, and grew up, with these guys. As good as it is to have the band back for good, it’s as good to have something as heartbreaking yet happy a documentary as this one. We give it 4 chirps for being so entertaining and honest in its appeal. As Nick puts it – all our lives, we keep searching for things that would make us happy, and often we don’t realise that it’s right here, beside us. And we like that thought.