Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Paramore - “The Only Exception”

We start out with a couple lying on a somewhat ugly couch. They guy is quite comfy with his snoozing, but the woman is restless. She decides to get up, and she leaves a note saying “I’m sorry.” We aren’t sure what she regrets, but it might be her decision to color her hair an odd shade of orange. She gazes longingly at the still-sleeping man (guys will sleep through anything, especially if sex has already taken place), and then goes out a door.

Which leads to another room with another guy. (Just what kind of place is this?) The woman hugs this other guy, then rudely proceeds to screw around with some knick-knacks on a shelf and steal a photo. Then she joins the guy at some table covered with a really giant doily, so I automatically don’t care for the table. (Doilies are not my thing.) They converse for roughly 3 seconds, then the woman apparently has to jet, so she hugs Guy Number Two and then dashes out another door. (Starting to think that this woman has an attention-deficit disorder of some kind.)

The next room is unoccupied, but looks vaguely like a college dorm room. The woman tucks the photo into the corner of a mirror, and the guy in the photo is not the other two guys that we’ve seen, so now we have to consider the fact that orange-haired woman might just be a bit of a tramp. She stares at the photo and looks really sad.

Cut to the woman somewhere else, lying on top of thousands of what I’m assuming are Valentine’s cards. So it’s official. She’s either sleeping with the entire planet or is a really good pen pal. Just to make sure that we understand that this woman knows a lot of guys, the camera pans over the billions of cards for confirmation.

Now the woman is with her band while they slow-jam on a stage. Everyone is very somber and unsmiling, so it’s probably not a dance band, but there’s not a lot to dance about when you’re overly promiscuous. Instead, most of your songs will be about missed chances and bad decisions, sung at a slow tempo while people wear black clothing and make blog posts about misery and dissatisfaction.

Cut to a brief shot of jewelry, and then the woman applying lipstick. She’s back in the unoccupied room where she did the picture-tucking, so I guess the concert with her band was really short. Maybe this is the room where her personal stylist lives. Or a drag queen friend. I don’t know, nobody is handing me explanatory brochures while I watch this.

The woman goes out another door, which leads to the costume department of a small theatre company. She paws a few garments, and then is suddenly wearing a sexy little dress and has a new hairstyle. (Those must be some magical clothes up in there.) She goes out yet another door, and is apparently now in a place where they do speed-dating. She sits at a table and rejects a long line of potential suitors. (This is somewhat understandable, since the only cute one in the line clearly wants her cocktail dress more than he wants her.)

So, naturally, the woman races through another door, and she finds herself in a church. (Didn’t see that one coming.) The folks in the church have conveniently left her a deluxe seat in the front pew, so she takes that one. The front doors of the church fly open, and in marches some woman in a bridal dress like Godzilla attacking the city. Our orange-haired woman is not impressed with this development, so she turns and runs out the front door. (So, it makes her uncomfortable when people make commitments whilst wearing formal wear? Got it.)

Back to the band performing (with the authentic touch of some groupie crouched in the wings, clearly waiting to be impregnated by one of the band members hopped up on single-malt Scotch). The band has an audience now, which is nice, but they seem rather rambunctious and appear to be dancing to a different song that what we are hearing. (Wait, orange-haired woman is both on the stage and IN the audience? So does this mean that she really likes watching herself perform, or that she has multiple personalities leading to black-outs and abrupt ends to relationships? If it’s the second, I’m finally starting to understand this video.)

At 2:56 we cut back to the woman lying on the cards from her many lovers, and she sings the phrase “I’ve got a tight grip on reality.” Really? Because I’m not seeing that from where I sit. Then again, I’ve never colored my hair, so maybe there’s something fundamental that I don’t understand. Just trying to be fair.

More shots of the concert, with orange-haired woman scanning the crowd and spotting the man from the first scene in the video. He gazes at her with a look that could mean “I want you more than anything”, but could also mean “skank, you ran out the first of many doors without making me breakfast, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of a girlfriend”. Orange-Hair doesn’t care, beaming as if Bob Barker just asked her to “come on down”.

Now we have a montage of the woman lying on all those cards, the band performing, and Orange-Hair and First Man maybe or maybe not realizing that they were meant for each other. (Admittedly, it’s hard to determine your relationship status while attending a concert where people are drunk and have forgotten basic manners.)

And now we launch another montage, revisiting some of the twisty rooms that we’ve already been in, only this time the First Guy is in all of them, gazing at Orange-Hair with fairly undisguised longing. (Which is my favorite part of the video, showing that Orange-Hair really wanted this man in all of her life scenes. Awww.) She suddenly starts running backwards through all of the remaining rooms, and finally makes her way to the starting room, with the couch, rips up her “I’m sorry!” note, and nestles up against her still-sleeping lover.

Which is very sweet. But seriously, girl, why’d you leave in the first place? Now do you understand why guys have no clue what you want?


(But really, great song. Truly.)


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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