We start out with a brief shot of some boxer apparently doing something award worthy at a match, then we cut to a really loud mom waking up her son in their crappy dwelling. Zip over to an image of a really fancy ballerina getting a busload of roses throw at her, then we have a much-quieter dad waking up his daughter in their really fancy digs. Okay, it appears that this video is going to be about the universal theme of parents destroying their children’s dreams, regardless of your socio-economic background. Got it.
We get a few additional shots to let us know that the young woman is at least somewhat deaf and has to wear a hearing aid, which is no laughing matter so we’ll leave that alone. She gets dressed and then gives her dad a smooch as she heads out the door to do whatever little princesses do when they are mobile and unescorted. Then we’re back at the crappy house, where harridan mom is smoking at the breakfast table, still hollering and being unpleasant and wearing an ugly outfit while the young man prepares to leave for his day. Her parting words are: “Don’t forget the trash!” (How can he? She’s sitting right there and won’t shut up.)
Now we have some unknown hands playing the opening notes of the song on a piano. It’s very pretty and all, but I hope those hands are actually attached to a person and that this isn’t going to turn into a slasher movie about severed body parts that come alive and prevent you from going to the senior prom. We get a glimpse of Young Man taking out that much-discussed trash (as far as I can tell, Mom’s not in the can) and a shot of Young Woman marching off to some place that requires her to accessorize with a stylish gym bag and a blouse that is so short it might as well be a bra.
Back to the piano, where we are greatly relieved to discover that the potentially-lethal hands are indeed attached to a human form, with that form being Danny, lead singer for The Script. He’s apparently giving one of those impromptu concerts in an otherwise vacant warehouse, something that only happens in music videos and movies that win the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. We get shots of Young Man running along the urban streets of his town (the best way to get away from Hollering Mama, yes?) as he has more visions about being that triumphant boxer. Or getting to wear silky shorts in public. Something about that roped-off square appeals to him.
Then we’re back in the art-house warehouse, where will.i.am has wandered in because it’s time for he and Danny to start singing or this will just be an instrumental track. Danny goes first, accentuating his words with some street moves that perhaps he should have practiced a little bit more. will.i.am does a bit better with the hand choreography during his parts, probably because he’s had so much practice trying to keep Fergie’s breasts from upstaging him during concerts.
While these two toss the lyrics at one another, we check up on Young Man. It seems he wasn’t paying any attention to where his nimble feet where carrying him, and he’s now on a street where three shady guys want nothing more than to chase after Young Man, and I doubt if they just want to ask him to join their glee club. We now have a car-chase segment without any cars, as they all race along, rushing past Young Woman, who briefly pauses to review their immaturity, then she and her half-shirt continue to wherever.
We get another montage, this one of Danny and will.i.am performing for the audience that doesn’t exist, and the Three Thugs pounding on Young Man behind a dumpster. (We get a shot of someone watching the pounding from a nearby window without bothering to intervene, so we must be in New York City.) Then we have Young Woman arriving at a dance studio, where everyone is really pretty and they all weigh about two pounds each. One of the other dancers (an ice-blonde prototype) makes a face about Young Woman wearing hearing aids, so we instantly hate her and hope she falls down an elevator shaft.
Next we have Young Man, face bruised and cut after his encounter with the Rethuglicans, arriving at a gym where lots of people are boxing and looking wet. Meanwhile, Young Woman is twirling away over at the studio, full of the spirit. Then I guess the spirit goes on break, because Young Woman does something that she shouldn’t have and falls to the floor, causing Evil Blondie to smirk at her because that’s what bitches do. Young Woman gets back to her feet with determination in her heart, conviction in her soul, and the phone number of a yuppie hit-man in her satchel.
Back to the warehouse, where will.i.am and Danny are still doing their thing, which is starting to get a tiny bit boring. They’re singers, and they’re singing. No real surprises here. But at least they’re having a good time, especially Danny, who gets so emotionally-invested during the chorus that he appears to throw a punch at the camera and then does a manly twirl in celebration. (Which, in my book, sort of makes him a suspect in the street-mugging that just went down a few minutes ago, but we’ll let the police handle it.)
Another montage, this one of Young Man training at the gym while thickly-muscled trainers show him some tough love about learning the dark arts, making us feel like we’re watching a promo for Rocky 17: The Luck of the Irish. We also have footage of Young Woman, as she works really hard in the studio so she can one day be as good as Jennifer Beals’ body-double in Flashdance. (And yes, Ice Blondie continues to smirk at Young Woman’s efforts, proving that Ann Coulter is not the only one with a massive stick up her ass.)
The training montage goes on for a long time, with lots of punching and sweating and standing on your toes, reminding us that you have to work really hard to be good at what you do. Unless you’re a Kardashian. Or a Fox News reporter.
But we know that our young starlets will eventually succeed, especially with Danny and will.i.am continually reminding us on the soundtrack to “be champy-uns”. Young Man prepares for an important fight, with another Rocky-tribute series of scenes, and Young Woman happily trots off to audition for a dance company, where a stern-faced group of people on the review panel look like they just got back from the proctologist.
Of course, we have to have a little bit of drama before they triumph, mainly because there’s still a minute left in the song. Young Man is a little wobbly in his bout at first, so he has to be yelled at by Poppa Bear trainer while a blood-thirsty crowd roars in the background. (I’ve never understood boxing as a spectator sport. You want to pay money to watch people beat the hell out of each other? Really? But at least boxing is better than the WWF, where grown men dry-hump each other while wearing bikini briefs on national television.)
And Young Woman has her own troubles, with her initially jacking-up her audition and falling down once again. (No reaction shot from Blondie, so maybe she’s at the bottom of that elevator shaft. Or at the proctologist’s office, where both of them are in for a surprise.) Luckily, Young Woman just has to run place her hands on a conveniently-nearby speaker (she can’t hear, remember, you might have forgotten that during the 112 times that Danny or will.i.am struck another pose) so she can get the rhythm back, and then she’s all good. (This is actually a very nicely done bit, with the song becoming muted while her hand is touching the speaker. I wish I had a button that could mute the world like that.)
Eventually, Young Man presumably wins his fight, with him (or somebody, might be the dream boxer) hoisting one of those massive title belts. (Where are you actually supposed to wear that thing? At a manhole-cover convention?) And I guess Young Woman triumphs as well, because she gets all smiley. We don’t actually see her getting her own locker or whatever happens when you get accepted by a dance troupe, but we do have another image of the dream dancer being pelted by roses, so I’m taking that as a positive sign.
The video ends with Danny, all alone again in that warehouse, as he walks toward the camera and our last image is of his darkened crotch. I’m thinking that shot probably should have been in a different type of video, but maybe that’s Danny’s signature sign off, like Carol Burnett with her ear tug…
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