Sunday, March 20, 2011

Green Day - “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

  We start off in a field somewhere, with Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood (woo hoo, real stars!) smooching and promising undying love to one another, in the way that young people do when everything is super important right now because they haven't lived long enough to learn that life is much more complicated than videos on MTV. It’s really sweet and all, but it goes on forever, like a Lifetime movie about infidelity or women who drink because their husbands didn’t notice their latest haircut.

  The music finally starts, and we get a close-up of one of Billy Joe’s eyes, complete with his trademark mascara. The camera pans down to his mouth as he sings, and I start to get uncomfortable that this might be one of those introspective videos where nothing gets resolved and people make bad fashion choices. Luckily, we soon cut to Jamie and Evan playing piggyback, napping in that field, and walking around a skateboard park where people like to take their shirts off and you can buy chili dogs. This looks much more promising.

  Okay, maybe not. Now we have scenes of the duo chasing each other through what we’ll assume is their house, making out on an ugly couch, playing video games, and making out some more while laundry doesn’t get done and bills probably don‘t get paid. Maybe this IS a Lifetime movie after all. Is this really a Green Day video?

  Then the happy times come to a screeching halt as Evan races out of the house and slaps Jamie, babbling something about “tell me you didn’t do it”. About 400 times, to the point that we don’t care WHAT he did, we just want her to shut up. Whatever he done did, they scream at each other for a while in a nice display of method acting and spittle projectiles. These people have some issues.

  Cut to the band performing on top of giant rolls of toilet paper while bright lights flash. We see more images of Evan looking tragic on the ugly couch, followed by Jamie on a bus going to… ah, a boot camp. She got all THAT bent out of shape because he enlisted? How is she going to handle it when something more serious happens, like pregnancy or a really bad rash? Maybe she should speak to a counselor.

  Nope, she sits on that damn couch and fiddles with a ring. Class, engagement or secret decoder, we don’t know, but it’s a ring. Quick shot of Billie Joe’s mouth, then we’re back to Jamie at boot camp, dealing with the impending loss of his hair and yokels with more first names than Billie Joe. Next thing you know, Jamie’s fighting in some foreign country. We know this because we get a quick shot of a sad woman wearing a burka and looking irritated because the bombings have jacked up the TV signal and she’s going to  miss “Big Brother - Islamabad”.

  We watch a medley of the band on that toilet paper, Jamie marching around with a gun but not really doing anything with it, fires burning, more toilet paper domination, Rachel still crying but at least she put that damn ring down, explosions, toilet paper, and, uh oh, military people flying through the air in a manner indicating it was not a choice they voluntarily made.

  Rachel cries some more.

  Jamie gets into a skirmish of some kind and has to run a lot. Rachel washes her face and then has to study it in the mirror a lot. Billy Joe plays his guitar and wears eyeliner a lot. Then we get a glimpse of one of the soldiers going down and the stage lights dim on the toilet paper stage. We just switched from Lifetime to Nightline.

  Cue Rachel sitting on some rundown bleachers somewhere, while we have voiceovers from happier times in that meadow when things were much simpler and Rachel hadn’t ruined her makeup with the incessant crying.

  And it ends, right there, without anyone knowing what exactly happened, just like Presidential elections in Florida and any speech given by Sarah Palin…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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