Friday, May 13, 2011
Backup Dancers From Hell: Patty Smyth and Don Henley - “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”
We start off with the camera as it pans around, using a really strange lens to distort the objects that we’re looking at. Burned-down candles and tassels and some vaguely-Victorian knick-knacks lying about. (Are we in a 19th-century S&M bordello?) It’s all shot in black-and-white, and there are angels on some of the pieces, so we know right away that things are not good and somebody just might be dead. I’ve learned these things reading Anne Rice.
Eventually the weird camera-tracking business stops, letting our stomachs settle, and we have Patty leaning against a wall, really sad about the fact that she’s apparently lost her shoes. She appears to be in a really old house, but before we can get the full scoop we cut to a little girl (Little Patty?) back in the day, happily jumping into the arms of what might be her daddy. (Or maybe it’s a complete stranger and Little Patty is just a very naughty girl.) Then they just fade away. Got it. This is a ghost story.
Back to Big Patty, who has managed to teleport to a chair. (I guess she got tired of looking for he shoes and decided to rest.) Cut to a shot of Little Patty and Maybe Daddy in another room of the house. While blinding lightning flashes outside the house, Little Patty is very invested in not doing whatever Maybe Daddy is telling her to do, trying to get away from him. Then she suddenly changes her mind and hugs him. Little Patty just might be bipolar.
Then we have Little Patty and young male companion (Little Donny?) playing blocks in another room with a church-like window so that God can keep tabs on their possible sins, followed by the duo playing dress-up, although Little Patty seems to be hogging the stage, and then Little Patty dancing with Maybe Daddy in yet another creepy room in this apparently abandoned house.
Well, I guess that was too much time spent on Little Patty, because the next time we see Big Patty she’s shoving her face at the camera, intent on getting her close-up. Once she has our attention, she starts singing while looking off to the side of the camera, as if she’s a shy, delicate flower, but we all know that’s a big lie. (We’re also getting jump shots of Little Patty and Diminutive Donny playing more dress-up, but we really don’t care by this point. So they liked to wear other people’s clothing. Who doesn’t from time to time?)
Okay, now we have Big Patty dancing with… Big Donny? Not clear. He’s making sure he looks away from the camera in that obvious way that politicians have when they are caught leaving a same-sex nightclub. Then Big Patty is back in that one chair, still shoeless, and warbling some more while we see Little Patty and Little Donny violently fighting over a dolly while more of that lightning explodes outside. (For the record, Little Donny wins, snatching the doll away and running off to play with it. Which might partially explain that same-sex nightclub business a few years later.)
Oh look, now we have Big Donny materializing in front of an open door. He starts singing, which is what many people do when they appear out of thin air, while we watch Big Patty try to cover her ears while sitting in Big Chair. Does Big Patty not want to hear the truth about Big Donny? This house appears to be in the South, so probably not. Lots of people down there are sweet on the surface, tell themselves lies, and drink a lot.
Big D and Big P do a nice little duet for a while, as we watch various images, like a couple eating apples on a bed, the young uns sharing a bath, and some more slow-dancing. (Hold up, that girl in the flirty couple on the bed? She’s holding a copy of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Great. So far we’ve had ghosts, violent storms, dismay and deceit between lovers, ugly furnishings, and people reading about killing entire families. This is just not a happy place.)
Next we have Big Donny and Big Patty singing next to one another while they both stare off-camera at possibly a human sacrifice that they have just performed. Cue Little Patty in yet another lightning-filled room watching Maybe Daddy fade into nothingness. Poor thing, now she’s got another notch in her psychosis case.
Then we have some drunk fool rudely breaking a bottle of whiskey on the floor, followed by a big-ass fight between a couple that might be the previously-flirting couple not agreeing on things like sobriety and fidelity. They eventually hug it out, but not before some very fun slapping and another lightshow from nature.
Sequence of shots of various people looking sad in or near that bed where the one chick studied-up on how to lower the population of Kansas. Of course, we can see a little angel statue sitting on a shelf on the back wall. (I told you that those things are a sign of death and destruction.) This bit ends with one of the guys falling into the bed and, you guessed it, disappearing. Maybe these people need to read up on how to stay on this plane of existence.
Oh good, another sequence, this one of several men walking out the back door, one at a time, and presumably out of Little Patty’s life. Or Big Patty’s. Or Peppermint Patty’s. It’s really not clear. People are leaving, that’s all I know. We wind down with another shot of Big Donny and Big Patty, with their heads touching in that one scene where they are gazing at something we can’t see, and then somebody pops that irritating lens on the camera and we roll back over all the evil knick-knacks that started this mess, the angels looking pretty but deadly.
Well, then. Did it never occur to any of these people to just burn the damn house down and move somewhere with some sunshine? Guess not.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.