Okay, we start off in… I don’t know what it is. A cave? A disco? Some spooky lost room at Hogwarts where Hermione morphed from frizzy-haired munchkin to supermodel between movies? All we really know is that Rob is already singing about the sad, lonely girl who cries pretty tears. I don’t know this girl personally, but it sounds like she needs to bottle whatever is coming out of her tear ducts and sell it to frumpy housewives in Kansas.
Oh, and it seems that one of the motifs for this video is using reflections of Rob on odd surfaces. They’ve already done that about 20 times and we’re barely 30 seconds into it. We could interpret this on a superficial level (“Rob really likes to look at himself”) or there could be a much deeper meaning (“Rob Thomas does not actually exist, it’s all smoke, mirrors and hair gel”). The second option is certainly much more interesting, so I’m voting for that one at this point.
Wait, now we’ve switched over to an apartment, one that is apparently located in the upper echelons of a swanky high-rise. (I’m basing this on the fact that the only things we can see out the window are other buildings, and not important reference points like ground or trees.) Then the camera cuts away from the Dramamine Window and we spy a Woman with Issues perched on a bed. She appears to be covered in ice, an unfortunate development that has resulted in her hair being dangerously spiky, like someone shoved icicles into her head. It doesn’t look like a very pleasant way to live your life, but we don’t know what she has done in her past and maybe this is her justified punishment.
Ice Girl is just sitting there, staring out the window. Perhaps she’s waiting for the sun to shine through that window so she can melt her way to freedom. (Which seems kind of lazy, to me. Why don’t you just go take a hot shower, honey?) Trouble is, due to the poor set design, we don’t know if it’s time for sunrise or sunset or if there is even a sun on this planet. And Ice Girl is not helping us figure out the timeline, with her annoying inactivity. She’s not drinking coffee or putting on her jammies or looking at her watch, nothing to set the scene. I don’t care if she’s frozen, she needs to step up her game or they should take away her SAG card.
Oh wait, now we’re seeing that Rob is trapped behind a wall of ice. I don’t know what he’s doing back there, perhaps he made a poor life-choice at some point. It’s possible that we should be concerned for his safety, but he’s still singing, and if he is really in any kind of danger then surely someone on his staff will work things out. He can’t sign their paychecks if he’s incapacitated.
The camera zooms in on Ice Girl’s eye. Wow, her mascara looks really good, considering she’s a Popsicle and all. This could be a new fashion trend, with refrigeration booths being installed at your local Macy’s cosmetics counter. Or maybe not. Despite Justin Bieber somehow making it past his 15 minutes, there are some pop-culture developments that really shouldn’t stick.
This just in: We do have a sun outside the previously-worthless window, and it just moved upwards a notch, so either dawn is breaking or the camera guy tripped over someone’s career lying on the ground. (The scriptwriter?) The golden rays continue to intensify, bathing things in a morning glow, letting the sunshine and the Age of Aquarius in, so we’ll assume that hippies are singing about it way down on street-level. But nobody up here is drinking any coffee to prepare for the new day, which is obvious blasphemy, so something’s obviously not right in this place.
We cut back to Rob still singing behind the ice wall. There’s probably some symbolism behind why he is doing that, but at this point in the sparse, cryptic narrative, we really aren’t invested in his tribulations. (Sorry, Rob. I’m sure you’re a swell guy, fun at parties and all, but your predicament is trumped by Ice Cube-Ette frozen to the trysting bed. Perhaps next time you’ll select a director who is less random and more focused on branding and product placement.)
And we’re back with Ice Girl, who has finally decided to do something more than sit there and look cryogenically beautiful. The sun is doing its thing, insisting on intruding in our lives even if people just want to hit the snooze button 37 times. Ice Girl is now melting, with big ole chunks falling off of her in a nice simulation of global warming. (In an immediate, Pavlovian response, 46 Republican senators post on social media that global warming is a hoax and so is this video, even though they’ve never seen this video or a non-censored science textbook.)
Interestingly enough, Ice Girl initially does not seem to be impressed with her release from glacial captivity. She looks very troubled about something. At the same time, we don’t see her ass getting off the bed and pulling the drapes across the window to stop the liquidity process. Maybe she’s just not very adept at handling change. (In an immediate, Pavlovian response, 47 Republican senators post on social media that progress is a hoax and this is the best music video that they have never seen.)
In a “wow, that was an anti-climactic moment” manner, the camera cuts to a quick shot of an iPhone, and we see that it is 7:15am. Yeah, we kind of figured that out, what with the rising sun and the vaporization of Iceland-Etta’s frigid couture. (And this signals the abrupt end to posting on social media by 48 Republican senators as they scurry to get back in their coffins before they burst into flames.)
And we’re back with Rob, who is still behind that ice wall, not rescued, proving that he is letting the wrong people into his inner circle. But it does look like there are cracks in said wall at this point, which leads to a question from the viewing audience: Is Rob actually the Ice Girl? Is this really all about him in some way? Rob’s not saying, and even if he was, we wouldn’t be able to hear him because that damn ice wall is in the way.
Oh look, Ice Girl just broke one of her hands free of the ice. And now an arm! Things are really starting to get busy up in here, with plates of ice sliding off her, onto the bed, and then clattering across the floor. (I’m sure the neighbors below her are none too pleased with all this racket, getting on the phone with the building manager. “She’s doing it again, Myron. Get your ass up there and make her stop!”)
Brief montage with reflections of Rob on the icy, watery floor. This does nothing for the story, such as it is, but it’s a nice bit of cinematography.
Hold up, new development. Is Ice Girl really Alicia Silverstone? (Pause it at 2:32, do a comparative study, and then get back to me. After all, Alicia did all those Aerosmith music videos a couple decades ago, maybe she’s getting back to her roots.)
Oh dear. Whoever Ice Girl is, she just rolled off the bed and fell on the floor. Now she’s wallering around in all those chunks of ice, like Faye Dunaway in that one movie where she drank too much and didn’t do the right thing when she should have. Flopping around in all the jagged ice surely can’t feel good, so I hope Alicia got paid well for this.
The ice wall magically disappears, and now Rob is singing and dancing in front of a really bright sun thing, doing some fairly uninspiring arm movements. (He should have hired Celine Dion’s Arm Choreographer, THAT person is really good.) Still, he seems to be having a much better time, so we’ll just let him be happy.
Alicia crawls to the window and pulls herself up into the sunlight. She doesn’t look very Zen about things but, let’s face it, how serene can you be when your undergarments are moist at inopportune times? Wait, it looks like Alicia might be trying to sing along with Rob, but you can’t hear anything because right then all 120 members of Rob’s backup gospel-choir kick in at full throttle. That’s kind of rude, people. You have all day Sunday to harmonize in church and at the potluck afterwards, let this woman have five minutes in the spotlight.
To his credit, the camera guy realizes there are far too many people belting out the chorus, so he does a close-up of Alicia’s vocal cords so we can see that she is, indeed, singing. And then she throws her head back and, based on her facial expression, something very sensual just occurred and/or happened to her. (I’ll have what she’s having. Make it a double. Thanks.)
And then, bam, it’s all over. We have a final scene with the cameraman walking backwards (watch out for that ice!) while Alicia stands at the sunlit window in her nightie. There are so many unanswered questions. How did Alicia get frozen? Is she going to get revenge? Does she have anything dry to wear? Will she have to pay for the damages? Why didn’t Rob just stop singing and help her out? Did anybody ever get any coffee?
Click here to watch this video on YouTube.
Originally published on 08/13/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.
[Author’s Note 02/03/15: I didn’t find out until just now, years after the original post, that it really is Alicia Silverstone playing Ice Girl. And this song is, in part, about Rob’s wife Marisol’s auto-immune condition. This satire piece is just about the video, and it should not be interpreted in any way as negative commentary about people with auto-immune conditions. That’s not something I would do intentionally. Peace.]