Monday, May 30, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Kelly Clarkson - “Breakaway”

We start out with a family driving in a station wagon, with the focus on a young girl who is clearly not impressed with the rest of her family. She tries to just enjoy herself by shoving her head out the window and pretending that she’s not related to anybody, but soon enough the other three family members are acting like fools, yelling and smacking at each other. So Little Kelly just tolerates it and prays. And wears an unattractive ball cap.

Suddenly we’re with Big Kelly, all grown up, and she’s in the back of a limo, wearing a fancy outfit and sporting expensive jewelry along with designer shades and a tri-color hairdo. No explanation about how she got from ball cap to Gucci, but we’ll assume that the experience was quite pleasing and somehow enhanced her breasts.

Kelly arrives wherever, and she hops out of the car and we’re at the premiere of Princess Diaries 2. Really? I had no idea this song was in that movie, never having seen it, but apparently this video is a promo of Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews learning to love each other. Hopefully they won’t push the publicity angle too far. We’ll see.

Kelly takes up a position on the red carpet just in front of several advertisements for the movie, so it looks like this is going to be more about the movie than hoped. Kelly appears to be loving the spotlight, posing for all the photographers and exuding star quality out of every pore. There’s some little PR person trying to direct Kelly on what to do, but she’s got it, wowing the crowd. In fact, Little Miss PR tries to get Kelly to settle down at one point, but Kelly and her couture dress with the poofy thing on the back milk it for all it’s worth.

Eventually we see Kelly in the movie audience, watching Anne and her co-stars make nice and say funny, scripted things. This goes on for a bit, but eventually we cut to Little Kelly on the roof of her house, trying to escape her nasty family by achieving elevation. Little Kelly sits on a peaked corner of the roof and dreams of better things. According to the lyrics, this involves travel by “jet plane”, a phrase that hasn’t been used since the 60’s, so Little Kelly must listen to the oldies station on the radio.

Back to Big Kelly, who is now on one of those jet planes, and apparently experiencing some turbulence. (Which she also experienced on the ground with her whacked family, yes?) To calm her nerves in First Class, she watches more of Princess Diaries 2 on a convenient laptop that somebody has provided. Though she might find the flick soothing, she still has to hold her beverage to keep it from spilling, which is more than a star should have to put up with. Poor thing. Will the pain never end?

And we’re back in the audience for the premiere, with Kelly not exactly looking enraptured with Anne and Julie doing whatever on the screen. Suddenly, one of the ushers is shining a flashlight on where Kelly is sitting, but we’re surprised to learn that the usher is now Kelly, and the Kelly that we thought was Kelly is now a man. (What? Does Kelly need to have a private conversation with Chaz Bono??)

Cut to the concession stand in the theater, where Usher Kelly is performing the song for her co-workers using the flashlight. The co-workers just grin and bear it, indicating that Usher Kelly often bursts into song while proffering vats of buttered popcorn. One of the co-workers even joins Kelly in a duet. Based on his unfortunate hairstyle choice, this is probably the highlight of his unsatisfying life.

And now we transition to Kelly singing for real at some place where the chandeliers are way too low to pass fire-code regulations. Everyone seems to be enjoying her performance, and her hair looks fab, but they jack up this bit with still more footage from that blasted movie. Kelly’s a trooper, continuing to bellow despite the obvious shilling, and I appreciate the inclusion of a chain-link fence as a set prop to indicate she came from a small town. Kudos.

But then she starts waving her hand in the air, and the whole audience does the same thing. I’m not a fan of this activity. It never really bothered me, until I started watching American Idol and noticed that any time ANYBODY sang a song that was remotely slow, the audience would do the hand-waving thing, even if the song sucked and was nothing that you would want to emotionalize via hand gestures. I understand that most of that show’s live audience is limited in their growth and development (seriously, you’re going to drag in a handmade poster with a stupid saying that you think is deep and poetic?), but still. They killed the love of hand-waving for me.

Anyway, nobody listens to me, so the rest of the video is of various people doing the hand-waving bit, including some folks that we’ve never seen before, so I’m guessing there was some inattention during the editing process. At the very end, we have Little Kelly praying to God at the side of her bed, pleading for a better life where she doesn’t have bickering relatives, questionable attire, and ugly furniture. And P.S. Please smite the people who wave their hands for pointless reasons. Love, Little Kelly.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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