March 1st, 2019 marks the day all Jonas Brothers fans lost their minds. The band had announced they were getting back together after six years. They released their comeback single, “Sucker,” which later became their first #1 song. One month later, the brothers released their second single, “Cool.” Along with the singles came an album, tour, documentary and memoir announcement. Amongst this excitement, the band’s documentary, “Chasing Happiness,” was released on Amazon Prime Video on June 4th. The documentary chronicles the brothers’ lives from Nick’s birth to the present day. Beware, amongst nostalgia, you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions while watching.
The Jonas Brothers Are Back
The opening credits preview the previously unreleased Jonas Brothers’ song “Rollercoaster” from their new album ‘Happiness Begins.’ Almost instantly viewers are pulled in to unfold the story of the brothers, posters of whom they previously had on their wall as
As the documentary reveals, it had been six years since Joe, Nick, and Kevin had spent any time together. The first time they saw each other after the band’s initial break-up was after the birth of Kevin’s first daughter, Alena. That really blew my mind as I am such a huge Jonas Brothers fan and close to my family. A distancing like that would never be an option for me.
‘Chasing Happiness’ gave enough time for each of the brothers to tell their stories. Viewers learned the band’s founding relied on Nick, who first pursued singing before entering
Family Secrets Surface
At their root, the Jonas Brothers are just like any other everyday family who face hardships. Nick’s diagnosis with type-1 Diabetes took a toll on the family. Additionally, Kevin was bullied as a child for doing ‘odd extracurricular activities’ as he put it, such as magic, pole vaulting, etc. He was called names and made fun of for his clothes because his family didn’t have a lot of money. Joe also made his own variety show at his house in the dreams of becoming an actor or stand-up comedian.
After Kevin Sr. lost his job as a pastor, the family lost their house and the brothers their record deal. Soon after though, they signed to Disney. From there, their career took off. They started selling out stadiums and discovered their popularity among girls, each becoming the others’ wingmen, and behaved as any brothers would.
It wasn’t long before Nick started writing about love. The band appeared on an episode of Hannah Montana, leading him to fall in love with Miley Cyrus.
Differing Priorities Cause a Turn for the Worst
One of the biggest topics revealed was frustration with the jokes and comments made about the brothers’ purity rings. They had so much success and a decision their religion conditioned them to participate in as children
While the Jonas Brothers were still together, Nick ventured out on his own and made an album as Nick Jonas and the Administration, Joe made a solo album, and Kevin got married. They started growing up and apart and the band was not working anymore. Nick and Joe did not want to be on Kevin’s show, “Married to Jonas,” and tensions were high. Nick eventually sat the brothers down and said the band should be no more. Kevin and Joe thought he was joking and were speechless. Joe was hurt the most because him and Nick were best friends and he felt betrayed.
As Joe started tearing up about the break-up, I was brought right back to that dreadful moment in 2013. The brothers had publicly announced they were splitting up as a band and the world stopped for a minute. Although Nick was the one who broke up the band, it was shocking to hear that Joe and Nick largely blamed Kevin’s focus on starting a family as opposed to solely working on music, as Nick and Joe continued to do.
A Bittersweet Ending
The ending was bittersweet, showing what each of the boys
Kevin hits viewers right in the feelings talking about how his daughter has never seen him perform on stage, describing, “She’s known me as her dad. She doesn’t know me as the person that was great.”
In the end, the brothers found happiness their loved ones and with each other, realizing they are better together.
The documentary was 96 minutes of pure nostalgia and emotion, with many ‘outside looking in’ stories from family, managers, friends, and bandmates. However, I do have a few complaints. I would have liked to have seen more of the brothers sitting down and hashing out their issues. We get a glimpse of debate when they play a drinking game together, but it is only about one question per brother and didn’t reveal any jaw-dropping revelations.
Also, it should be noted that the JoBros did not write “Paranoid” and “Fly with Me” for ‘Lines, Vines, and Trying Times’ to be glossed over. Kevin said, “This album won’t be anything nearly as big as ‘A Little Bit Longer’” and that was the sole mention of this point in the band’s career. The documentary then went straight to 2013 and the breakup, fast-forwarding past major periods concerning the band.
The Jonas Brothers needed to take a break in order to find themselves, find happiness, and find out that they missed performing together on stage. The best is yet to come for them and fans are so excited for their return!
Whether you became a Jonas Brothers fan at “Mandy” or “Sucker,” this documentary will make you appreciate the band and their music. It makes you think about the family surrounding you and the joys you have in life. All in all, no amount of fame, money, or success is as important as happiness.
I think Nick summed up the documentary best when he said, “It’s funny how you spend so much time chasing happiness and the things you think will bring you that joy in life and not realizing it’s been there all along.”
Rating: 5 out of 5