In the most personal aspect of “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” the singer-actress reads passages from her journal full of self-doubt and anxiety, including “I’ve Gotta Stop Living Like This” and “I Want To.” knowing how to breathe again.” Opening up about his bipolar disorder is a service, to be sure, but he strives to condense his revelations into a documentary over the six-year period covered by this intimate Apple TV+ presentation.
Directed by Alek Keshishian, whose credits include “Madonna: Truth or Dare” and Gomez’s 2015 video for “Hands to Myself,” the film clearly shows the wide reach of its subject matter, beginning in preparation for a 2016 tour in Los Angeles. Sports Arena, before cutting the show schedule due to anxiety and panic attacks.
From there, “My Mind & Me” (also the title of a new song Gomez is releasing) will be all over the place, following her on a trip to Kenya, all the while enduring paparazzi questions along the way. he visits people in his old neighborhood and reflects on his frustrations with the press as part of a media tour.
“I feel like a product,” he complains at one point, then confides in friends that the inane questions he regularly asks seem like “such a waste of time.”
The documentary is perhaps most notable for showcasing Gomez’s work on behalf of the Rare Impact Fund, an effort to raise money to support young people dealing with mental health concerns and issues.
The main issue is what Gomez is doing and where, while skipping over some recent major additions to her resume, such as the hit Hulu series “Only Murders in the Building.”
“It was as big as life, I was struggling underneath it all,” Gomez says in a speech that neatly sums up the documentary’s underlying point, which is that even someone who apparently has everything can face challenges.
It’s easy for celebrities to let their guard down and underestimate the courage it takes to admit their weaknesses or failings, revealing a side of themselves that the public doesn’t always see. That alone makes the message meaningful – a point underscored by the jetsetters in Gomez’s life on display here – and if it helps one person, more power to them.
Yet if Gomez, understandably, resents feeling like “a product,” “My Mind & Me” doesn’t escape the fact that she’s capitalizing on that reputation and the product-like part of her existence to sell.
“Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” premieres Nov. 4 on Apple TV+. Disclosure: My wife works at an Apple unit.