Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell - Bruno Mars - “Just The Way You Are”

Well, this one’s going to be a little tough to review, because there’s a whole lot of nothing going on, but I’ll give it a run. (At least, for a change, the video is NOT set in a dance club, although that might confuse some of the teenyboppers out there.) Anyway, here goes…

We start with a very pretty woman with cute headphones, listening to some song and minding her own business. In walks Bruno, and I guess he’s got an attitude, because he picks up her cassette player and turns it off. (Yes, cassette player, even though no one buys cassettes anymore. Because the rest of the video wouldn’t work if she was listening to a CD like any normal person would.)

Bruno pops out the cassette with an impish grin, while Pretty Woman pretends to be upset with his actions, even though she’s really not, because actual stress marks on her face might detract from her cuteness. Bruno snags the magnetic tape inside and then yanks out a big chunk of it. He then sits at the coffee table, which just happens to have a convenient area that has already been cleared off. While the music starts, Bruno takes the tape and spells out his name, because narcissism always starts at home. Then he spells out the name of the song, because we’re apparently stupid and have already forgotten what we were watching when we pushed play 20 seconds ago.

And really, that’s about it for the rest of the video. Bruno draws things with the magnetic tape, Pretty Baby gazes upon him adoringly because she likes spontaneous art, and Bruno gazes back with his practiced grin, smirking in a way that indicates sexual activity is somewhere on the horizon.

First he draws Pretty Baby‘s face, and it looks JUST like her, if she were actually made out of magnetic tape. Pretty Baby takes an exception to Bruno’s depiction of her hairstyle, and she makes some adjustments, even though nobody asked her to do so. Then she fiddles with her own hair, just in case the drawing is prettier and we can’t have that. Bruno purposely messes up the drawing’s hair, because he has control issues.

For the chorus, Bruno draws himself on the table, and you can tell that he actually likes himself better than Pretty, because he gives himself an entire body instead of just a floating head. This allows his mini-me to do actual dance steps, and therefore get more screen time than Pretty Baby. (We get a close-up of Pretty Baby, and you can tell that’s she’s not pleased with the upstaging, but she smiles anyway, because that’s what she’s getting paid for after all.)

Oh look, Pretty Baby must have psychic powers, because she makes the image on the table turn back into her. And then she makes the image stop smiling. (Note to Bruno: See, this is what married life will be like. It’s all about her, and she’s never happy.) Bruno reaches in and makes the image smile again, because she better be happy, damn it, after all the bling he’s been buying her lately.

Well, Pretty Baby is not about to give in just yet. She stands up and let’s us see by her outfit that she really liked that movie “Flashdance” back in the day. Pretty approaches the couch where Bruno has been doing his artwork, and promptly snuggles up to him so that she can share the camera shot with Bruno and they will quit cutting away from her. In an astounding bit of trick photography, we can see the coffee table beyond the couple, and the image is moving all on its own! OMG!

That gets boring, so we close in on the coffee table once more, and the image changes to a keyboard. Two hands reach in and start playing this piano, which is kind of fun to see, until we quickly cut back to the couple and Bruno’s hands are all over his future unhappy wife. Well, then, where the hell did those other hands come from? Is somebody under the table? Did this just turn into a slasher movie? “Last Piano on the Left”.

While Bruno croons to her, never once taking off his hat, which is kind of rude, Pretty kisses her own finger because she tastes so good. Then the camera moves back a bit, and we can see that they both have their shoes on the couch, so these people are sloppy pigs. Just because he might be a pop star doesn’t mean they should wreck the upholstery with footwear.

Time for more of the chorus, and another shot of Magnetic Bruno bopping around on the coffee table. Then the image changes to a bell, so those weird hands that don’t really belong to anybody that we’ve actually seen in the room can reach in and ring the bell. This is starting to get a little bit tired. So somebody has an interesting graphics program on their PC. Big deal. And really, didn’t “A-Ha” do the hand-drawing thing a couple decades ago? Been there.

The image changes to Bruno playing the piano, while real Bruno continues to warble at Pretty while she hugs her own body in outright self-love. Then real Bruno is magically transported across the room, and is suddenly playing a real piano (Just like the one on the coffee table! Wow!) He turns to look back at her, and she has another fake smile, this one saying “dude, quit leaving me out of the camera shot”. He’s not impressed with insubordination, so he turns and just sings to the piano because it doesn’t talk back.

Pretty Baby just sits there on the couch, continuing to scuff the fabric with her old-school cowboy boots and growing increasingly agitated that Bruno isn’t looking at her and is instead bellowing the song. The song and the video end with just Bruno and his instrument, but if you listen closely enough, you can hear those cowboy boots stomping out the door as Pretty goes to call her agent and a divorce lawyer. Because nobody puts Baby in a corner. Even if their coffee table is a giant Etch-a-Sketch.

 Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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