Technical AspectsThe opening shots are shaky, as if filmed though a hand-held camera. This is doneto illustrate to the audience the artist the video is drunk or tipsy as she stumblesthrough the crowds. The dark nature of the shot suggests she is in some sort of baror nightclub. As the artist walks up to the mirror in the bathroom, close-ups of theother women are used, displaying the mean, dirty looks they give the artist as sheenters the room. These looks are emphasized to convey the idea that the otherwomen view each other as‘competition’ in the bar, and they allpush and shove for a space in themirror. These images relate strongly tothe lyrics that suggest the artist islonely and feels old and is in the barlooking for a partner, just like all theother women in the bathroom.
The close-up shots in the mirror illustrate how the artist really looks; disheveled andmessy as a result of her night out, and how she sees herself in the mirror, pretty andput together. This suggests the artist is not happy with her life and is trying to ignorethe reality of being ‘nearly thirty now’ and still ‘out every night’. This is shown by theartist lip synching at the image of herself that she wants to be like. All the women inthe bathroom join in with the artist, singing at their reflections suggesting that they allfeel the same.The shot changes to the artist dancing in a dark Technical Aspectsroom with a handsome man, whom she obviouslylikes, however this man disappears and the darkroom is illuminated and shown as an empty maletoilets. In contrast to the female bathroom, theyare completely empty and this seems to suggestthe artist feels men are not under the same emotionalpressure felt by all the women in the bar.
Convention/Genre/MeaningFollowing the classic Pop conventions the artist lip synchs throughout the majority of the video.However, this is slightly challenged when the large group of women in the bathroom surroundthe artist and begin to lip synch in time with her. This further emphasizes the idea that all thewomen in the video feel the same lonely, unhappiness emanating from the artist and alsocreates a sense of unity in the video, very different from the usual self-obsessed video seen inPop culture.The video illustrates a sad, unhappy vibe, not only seen through the lyrics but through thevisuals of depressed, desperate looking women and the dark lighting that dominates throughoutthe video. This atmosphere contradicts and juxtaposes the cheerful Pop sound of the song,which seems to be the only aspect of the video following Pop culture convention.The defiance of Pop convention is finally seen in the lack of a ‘happy ending’, the male loveinterest appears half way through the video and soon disappears, indicating he was only afantasy of the artist, illustrating what she wished she had. Unlike classic Pop video’s where thelove interest is firstly real, and secondly, ends up with the artist.
CarlssonSven Carlsson’s theory ofModern Mythic Embodimentis blatant in this video, aswith most Pop videos itfollows the idea of thecommercial exhibitionist,using close-ups of the artistto sell her brand and image tothe audience. However, theclose-ups do not illustrate asexualized image as withmany videos, instead theartist is disheveled andlooking worse for wear. Thevideo could be said to conveymore of the televised bardthan the commercialexhibitionist, telling thepersonal story of the artistsso-far failed love life.
When looked at though Shore’s perspective we can see thatthis video does not follow his theory of surface withoutsubstance as it tells the story of the artist’s pain and Shoreloneliness and it connects on a subconscious level with alarge number of the audience. It does however had theclichéd imagery of the artistlooking at herself in the mirror,women putting on make-up in aclub/bar bathroom and theclassic romantic scene with amale love interest.
This video only has two different scenes, the ladies bathroom and the men bathroom. TheGoodwin effect of only having one scene change is that the message embedded in the song and its lyrics is easily understood as the audience are not confused or overwhelmed by an ornate, over-the-top video and as a result the message is amplified. The use of a simple set again helps illustrate the message behind the lyrics, the repeated shots keep the audience interested but at the same time allow them to focus more on what the artist is trying to convey. The video only becomes disjunctured when the scene changes from the womens bathroom to the mens, where the artist begins to fantasize about her ideal man. This dream-like scene breaks up the smooth flow of film and disrupts the simplicity of the video. However, it does help to make the video different and more appealing to the audience.