Month: March 2015

Take All the Medication until the Bottle is Empty: Leona Lewis – “Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis Bleeding Love

 

We zoom in on a residential building, and we are treated to glimpses of several women in their apartments, each of them in various states of undress as well as emotion. (Most of these ladies don’t seem to be very happy, so there probably won’t be any spontaneous line-dancing in this video, much to my dismay.) The camera finally comes to rest on Leona, sprawled out on a hallway floor, wearing a really pretty dress. (Girl, you don’t do that in couture. Get your ass off the ground.)

But Leona’s stubborn, so she starts to sing and play with her hair instead of getting up. When she finally does, the wall color is different, so either somebody on the production staff messed up or she has special powers and can walk through walls without us noticing. Whatever the case, the new hue apparently arouses Leona to the point that she must press her body against the wall and let her eyes roll back in her head. Maybe it’s scratch-n-sniff paint, with pheromones?

While Leona works on her budding romance with the plaster, we cut to a messy woman on her unmade bed, looking at photos. She’s crying, and I think we’re supposed to take the photos as proof that her man is seeing somebody else. It’s not really clear, what with the camera jumping all over the place, and I’m distracted by the fact that her sheets are half off the mattress. (Perhaps her man is turning to other beds because they are more tidy?) But then the percussion kicks in on the song and I really don’t care about Sloppy-Bed Girl anymore, try as I might.

Leona’s back on the floor in that first hallway, so I guess things didn’t work out with her wall lover. (Probably because the wall doesn’t say much. There has to be good communication for a relationship to work.) Despite the trysting failure, Leona still feels pretty good about herself, based on the way she likes to look at and touch her body.

Then we’re in another apartment, with another sobbing woman sporting enough mascara to re-tar the roof of Buckingham Palace. A man comes in the door (hey wait, is that the guy in the Sloppy-Bed photos?), which prompts Mascara Gal to hop off the couch and throw some wadded-up panties at him that are (presumably) not hers. Apparently Mr. Spread-the-Love will not be crossing home plate tonight, at least not in this apartment.

We jump back to Leona, who is once again in that second hallway, where she had the ill-fated Sherwin-Williams encounter. It appears that she is wearing a new dress, so I’m not sure what that’s all about. (To be fair, she might have been sporting this second dress the first time she tripped the light fantastic down this hallway, but once she tried to breach the wall with her pelvis I sort of stopped paying attention to what she might be wearing.) Maybe she’s changing costumes with each little sobbing-woman sub-story? That would be a nice artistic and thematic touch, but something tells me the script probably didn’t get that deep.

Next we have a quick Brady-Bunch multi-shot, and we see a total of four different scenes where unhappy things seem to be taking place, so I guess Leona has at least two more costume changes as the stories unfold. (Note to self: Do not rent an apartment in this building. Everyone is very busy being dissatisfied, and life is too short to spend it in that kind of environment. Move to the country and grow your own food.)

Back to the Mattress Madame, who is now jumping on the bed and throwing the incriminating photos around the room. (Does she just have issues with things being orderly in her domicile? Why you gotta make all that mess?) And we check in with Panty-Throwing Patty, who is in the process of throwing her Cheating Man out of the apartment. (He stands outside the slammed door and looks confused. Dude, those weren’t her panties, so unless they are YOURS, you don’t live here anymore.)

We have more shots of Leona in the golden hallway. (She really likes to play with her thick and luxurious hair, have I mentioned that?) She’s back to rubbing up against the walls and all, and at one point I do believe she was humping a radiator. And she can’t seem to stand up on her own, leaning against things in a weakened and confused state like a band groupie the morning after or a Republican when confronted with actual facts.

Brief glimpse of a third woman, so we’re about to get her story, but first Leona, in a new outfit (think Barbarella) wanders into a bedroom. (It may or may not be her own, she apparently has an all-access pass to every room in the building.) She wanders up to the bed and flops on her back, and then sings a line while arching that back and shoving her breasts up to Jesus. The height she achieves is amazing. If we could all accomplish goals like that, we could probably end world hunger.

Okay, time for third girl’s story. The Jerk from the cheating photos and the hurled panties walks up to her door, she promptly opens it and they immediately begin sucking face. Then they jump on the bed and whoopee ensues. I guess they know each other. (And what is it with this guy, blithely going from one apartment to another and scoring? Do these people not talk to each other? This is why you need to get to know your neighbors, so you can make informed decisions when your horny bell rings.)

Next we have more shots of Leona roaming the halls. She’s not wearing a back brace, which kind of surprises me after the athletics of her previous scene. She’s got a new outfit, which means that we’re about to see the fourth girl. And it looks like somebody found her some coffee, because she’s not inappropriately touching the walls as much, although there’s a sparkle in her eye that says she might start touching again if the right paint color comes along.

Final girl is sitting on her bed, a status update that hints of an objectifying theme in this video, with almost all of the women on or near mattresses. She’s wearing pantyhose with giant white circles, waiting for the phone to ring and checking her watch. Honey, whoever you’re waiting for is not going to show up until you take those awful pantyhose off and burn them.

Quick shot of Girl #3 still flopping around with The Jerk, and hey, they’re right next door to Girl #4 (aka Bad-Pantyhose Girl). Does anybody in this building do anything other than have sex or wait for sex to happen? Is this a fraternity house in Alabama?

We roll into another montage of Leona, with her posing artfully and her hair blowing wildly, even though she’s inside a building and not near a window. (Maybe the air currents are being caused by all the random sex that’s unfolding everywhere?) Thankfully, Leona’s not using her breasts to recreate part of Mt. Rushmore in this scene, probably because her agent stepped in and explained that chiropractors can be very expensive in the long run.

Then the video gets really busy, as if we didn’t already have enough to process, what with the entire complex sleeping with one another. Pantyhose Girl tries to drown herself in the bathtub because her phone isn’t ringing, even though you would think she would make sure that phone had dial tone before she got all Sylvia Plath about the situation. Some guy that we don’t know (or at least I don’t) walks in on The Jerk and Girl #3 and a violent scuffle ensues, although I’m not sure why we need to get upset about the situation, since you apparently have to sign an open-relationship disclosure form when you move into this place.

And then we have girl number… hell, I don’t know the number, the one with the photo collage and the messy bed. She decides that it’s very critical that she burn said photos, while she’s still on the bed with them. She gets my vote in two categories: Most Psychologically Damaged, and Least Concerned about the Life Expectancy of Her Neighbors. Luckily, Miss Pyro’s antics manage to set off the sprinkler system in the building, a welcome distraction that these jacked-up folks really need.

And it works. Pyro Girl calms down a bit, rethinking her choices as both her mattress and her chances of avoiding a court appearance get a bit soggy. The unnecessary, testosterone-based smack-down in Girl #3’s apartment fizzles out. (When it starts to rain inside, you need to shift focus.) Most importantly, the activated sprinklers allow Leona to dance around in the streaming water, with twirling, singing and shimmying, her favorite things. There’s a quick shot of Leona’s feet sporting very high heels made out of golden chain-link fencing. (Somebody in the wardrobe department paid big bucks for those, so they had to have their own cameo.)

As we roll to the end of the video, we see that Pantyhose Girl’s beau does show, and it’s somebody we haven’t seen yet, so he’s most likely a nice guy innocently visiting a house of madness. And happily, since the fire sprinklers are still going, Pantyhose Girl doesn’t have to explain that she’s dripping wet because she just tried to kill herself over the fact that her date was ten minutes late. Then we get another side view of the building, with the lights being turned out in all the apartments. Fade to black.

I now fully understand why Leona keeps, keeps bleeding. She can’t get out of her sublet in this crappy apartment complex filled with delusional people who don’t take their prescribed medications with any regularity…

 

Click here to Watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 08/14/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.

 

The Unhappy Possibilities of Flying Goldfish: Kelly Clarkson – “My Life Would Suck Without You”

 

Kelly Clarkson My Life Would Suck Without You

 

We start out with Kelly sitting on a swing in a park, barefoot and smiling to herself, probably because she just sold another million copies of her latest album in the last twenty minutes. At first it appears she’s watching some young kids frolic about, but then you quickly realize that it’s daytime in their park and night-time in hers. So either she has supervision and can see really far, like across continents, or these things did not take place at the same time.

The kids are doing something with a bracelet, but it’s not real clear what that might be. (It’s never clear what kids are doing, as if they all signed a secret pact to do bizarre things just for the annoyance factor.) Perhaps they are making a pact of friendship, or maybe it’s a livestock transaction in Ancient Greece. Whatever the case, the necklace is very sparkly and pretty and it’s somewhat understandable why it might be necessary to do important things with it.

Now Kelly is wearing that same bracelet, only we’ve switched scenes and she’s in an apartment (presumably hers, she’s got enough cash to own a few), answering the door. It’s some guy, and she waves keys in front of him and then runs all over the house while he tries to catch her. It’s possible that they might be trying to reinvigorate a temporary lull in the bedroom with some impromptu role-playing, but the guy certainly looks more irritated than horny.

More shots of Kelly in the night-time swing again. She must like it there. This is probably where she goes to calm down when Clive Davis questions her song choices despite her stellar track record and a trunk-load of awards. Or maybe her apartment gets really crappy reception and the park is the only place where she can order a pizza on her cellphone.

Speaking of the apartment, we head back over there, where the “catch me if you can” roundelay has apparently reached the “I’m over this” threshold, with Kelly hurling the set of keys into the toilet. I’m guessing there will be no nookie tonight, although somebody’s hand will definitely be getting wet at some point.

And then bam, Kelly’s on a concert stage singing the chorus. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all do this when we have domestic issues? Cut away to song and dance instead of doing something stupid and the police show up?) Kelly Girl looks hawt, though, with the lights and the wind machine and the zooming cameras. This is much more enjoyable than people swinging and running and plunging critical items into commodes.

Sadly, the chorus eventually ends, and we’re back in the Apartment of Uncertain Relationship Status. Kelly and the Keyless Dude are calmly sitting on a couch, perusing magazines, so maybe they have worked things out. But this détente only lasts about two seconds before she decides he’s been reading too much or something and snatches away his Juggs magazine. Then she hits him with it and throws it out the window. She mean.

More shots of her swinging in that park. (Note to the video director: We got it. Kelly really likes being alone and airborne in dark places, probably due to something in her childhood that may have required therapy but there was no money in the family budget. Let’s move on to some different symbolism, shall we?)

Apartment again: He throws something of hers out the window, or at least I think he does, I can’t really tell because her hair is in the way. Then she’s racing through the apartment, grabbing up other things of his and chunking ‘em out the window. Come on, people. Is all of this aggressive activity really necessary? There are more discreet ways to handle a rocky relationship, such as getting out of it.

It’s time for the song chorus again, so we head back to the concert stage, where we get a little relief from the dysfunctional duo. Sadly, the images of Hawt Kelly vocalizing are intercut with updates from the Jerry Springer Condo, where the two of them are still cleaning out the closets and flinging crap into the street. Kelly even gets dangerously close to throwing a fishbowl, with live fish, out the window. And we would have to hate her a little bit if she did that, even if it’s only a pretend music video, because that’s just wrong. Bad Kelly.

Dude Man saves the day by snatching out the guppy (isn’t that a Jamaican song?) at the last second. Regardless of the save at the buzzer, Kelly launches Nemo’s home out the window anyway. (And Dude Man is fine with her doing so once he has Nemo transferred to a shot glass, both of them leaning out said window to watch the plummet.) Are these people not thinking about who might be walking below that window? Nice grandma on her way to the retirement center, lugging freshly-baked strudel, and WHACK. Wetness and death. This is a really mean video.

Then we have the quiet part of the song where Kelly realizes she can’t let Dude Man go. Of course not. Otherwise he would testify against her in the inevitable domestic violence lawsuit. And he saved the guppy, not her. Her situation is not going to read well with the jury, and she’d be paying some big money to settle that one. At the end of the day, most relationships are about simple economics.

So now they’re all happy, pretense or otherwise, and as a celebration they decide to go ride around in a jeep, which is what all reunited couples immediately think of doing. This development is quite convenient from a cinematic perspective, because it means that Kelly can whip her hair around in the wind and he can look cool wearing shades. (Quick shot of the famous bracelet hanging from the rear-view mirror, so I guess there was no livestock swap.)

We roll into the chorus again, which translates into mixed shots of Kelly’s hair on stage and Kelly’s hair in the jeep. Things go sour in that jeep when the couple apparently gets lost (destination unknown, but still) and they naturally start a fight about it. Kelly hits him again, this time with the map. Girl needs some anger management classes.

All this bickering causes him to lose control of the jeep, and although there’s no real danger, they do end up in a gravel parking lot where dust gets everywhere and they aren’t so pretty anymore. I guess the horrifying possibility that she might be dirty AND single is too much for her, so Kelly grabs the guy and they kiss.

And then we’re done. Did you learn a lot? I did: If you encounter barefoot people swinging and singing in a park at midnight, get the hell out of there…

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 08/14/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.