Dim Bulbs in the City of Lights: Savage Garden – “Truly Madly Deeply”

We start out with brief shots of a fancy statue, lead singer Darren, some woman hopping off a train and running away like she’s done something naughty, and an impatient man checking his watch while looking darkly handsome. Then we’re back to Darren walking down a street and bursting into song, because that’s something that just happens in Paris, it can’t be helped.

While Darren warbles, we get more shots of Running Woman and Impatient Man, and it becomes clear that he’s waiting for her to get her ass to wherever he is. Apparently Running Woman (let’s call her Claire) is not the best at directions or remaining focused, because she just keeps stampeding around and looking frazzled. Impatient Man (let’s call him Biff) not only doesn’t like to be kept waiting, he also doesn’t care for nearby couples at cafes who perform public displays of affection, because he keeps glaring at them, dark condemnation in his eyes.

Darren just keeps walking and singing while pretty leaves fall from the trees and old buildings get older.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is basically the whole video. Claire runs and runs and runs and Biff waits and waits and waits. This is the part where you forget about the boring couple and just start looking at all the pretty sights of Paris. Conveniently, Claire manages to run past quite a few of the more popular destinations, so we have a nice mini-tour without having to sit on a crowded bus where other people smell bad and keep blocking your view out the window.

Oh, and Darren is also serving as Julie the Cruise Director, wandering by some famous places as well. If he would just stand still for a minute, surely Claire will come running along and he can give her some directions, or at least hand her a bottle of water for the next leg of the marathon. (“Pace yourself, girl. Ain’t no mountain high enough if you rest in the valleys.”)

Eventually, Biff gets fed up and leaves the café, which is not a good move. Claire obviously has issues finding a stationary target, so she’s really going to fall apart attempting to find a moving one. Biff climbs some pretty stairs that look ominously like those mean steps in The Exorcist where people died, so who knows where this is going. If a priest walks up, tossing holy water about in a frenzy of exorcism, we’re in trouble.

Claire runs. Darren sings. Biff makes it harder for Claire to find him. The citizens of Paris ignore all of this, because tourists are constantly doing stupid things in their town and they’re over it. (“How do you get to the Eiffel Tower? Mon cher, if you can’t figure out how to walk toward the ginormous tower on your own, you need to go back home.”)

Claire finally stops to ask for directions, something I would have done three days ago, but Claire is young and pretty and logic isn’t important to her yet. Then she goes running up those Exorcist stairs, so perhaps she’s getting warmer, managing to at least get in the right part of town. Then again, there are a lot of stairs in Paris, because don’t mind exercise in France. Unlike America, where some people get enraged if their doctors suggest that they get off the couch once a decade or so.

Oh, maybe those stairs proved to be a breaking point for Claire, because she stops halfway up them and just sits, letting the camera twirl around her, capturing her messy but cute hairdo. While she catches her breath, we get another montage of Darren marching along in his I’m-still-in-the-closet couture and Biff not staying in one place, making things harder for Claire and the attention span of the viewing audience.

At one point, Claire climbs up the most-important hill in Montmartre so we can get some nice views of the city and she can plot her next pointless move in the quest for Waldo. Darren, apparently thirsty, goes into a Bohemian little bistro where the rest of his band is conveniently playing, allowing him to continue with the singing. And who knows what Biff is doing, we stopped caring.

Claire comes down off the hill, pausing to stare at the famous carousel situated at the base, an apt symbol of her going in circles and not getting anything done while music plays. Then she heads off to wander through more of the city, not running now, because that was clearly getting her nowhere. Darren keeps singing in the bistro, not bothering to order anything, so you know the staff hated him for taking up one of their limited tables and jacking with their tip flow. (“Monsieur, if you not desire the escargots fresh, why here? If not wanting of the food, go to place not having food, like final resting grave of Jim Morrison or Catacombs with skulls beaucoup.”)

Finally, after glumly strolling past tons of historic places where Biff isn’t, Claire turns a corner and there’s her man, magically slumped up against an ancient wall, looking like a strung-out junkie with disappointment issues, probably not the vision the producers were going for, but these things happen with poor set-design planning. They happily embrace one another while Darren hits some especially high notes in the song, proving that if you just try hard enough you can eventually find a man who doesn’t really want you in the first place.

We end the video with Clair and Biff meandering through the few parts of the city that we haven’t already visited, Darren either leaving or getting kicked out of the bistro (“Escargots!”), and the people of Paris quietly waiting for another city to become more popular so they can finally eat their croissants in peace without some fool asking “parlez-vous anglais?”…


Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Originally published in the original “Backup Dancers from Hell” on 09/28/11.