(Published on ARTSCLASH)
Last week, Britney Spears unveiled the new music video for her theme song to the film The Smurfs 2, ‘Ooh La La’ (but I’m sure you are all avid followers of the progress of The Smurfs 2 and didn’t need me to tell you that). And when I say unveiled, I want you to imagine a waiter in a three star restaurant coming to your table, raising the cloche over your plate and revealing a massive steaming turd
This is not an anti-Britney thing I want you to understand. Say what you want about Ms. Spears, but she certainly gives good pop music. In fact, I’d go as far as say ‘Gimme More’ might be the finest pop song of the last ten years. That’s what makes this video so awful: after all the times I’ve defended her, she thanks us with THIS. The crimes committed in this video are almost too many to count, but we can certainly try.
1. The ‘acting’
And I use the term very loosely. Whoever looked at her acting debut Crossroads and thought ‘yep, she clearly can handle acting with CGI characters’ should be banned to a lifetime of Danny Dyer films. Here’s Brit’s response to being trapped in Smurfworld
If you’ve ever wondered what a Prozaced-up Maculay Culkin would look like, ‘Ooh La La’ has the answer. In fact, she pretty much just wears that face the whole time, like she can’t believe she’s getting away with this shit either.
When you’re being out-acted by a computer, you know there’s trouble.
2. The ‘dancing’
Again, loosest possible definition. This is a woman who used to do backflips in her videos, a trained dancer nonetheless. But here she makes your mum drunk at a wedding look like Beyoncé. If the ‘Single Ladies’ video had been like this, we would’ve understood why they were all single in the first place.
Britney’s approach to this video seems to be ‘move my arms around until the money comes in’, which worked for Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, but as we’ve already established Britney is not Meryl Streep.
We get it, Neil Patrick Harris is in the new Smurfs film, so it’s probably a good idea to have him in the official music video (although quite why NPH is in The Smurfs 2 is another matter…). However, just having him floating up in the air in a cinema in a scene that has really nothing to do with anything else that happens in this video. I’d say it represents how much his career is up in the air if he’s having to do The Smurfs 2, but that would be giving this video clever points it in no way deserves.
4. Demon Children
This is a woman I’ve seen in a see-through nylon bodystocking with just diamonds covering her nipples, a woman I’ve seen snogging Madonna and singing ‘If U Seek Amy’, the filthiest wordplay this side of Carry On. I definitely do not need to see her children. The cuter this video tries to make them, the more Britney’s earlier greats die. That said, her kids do provide…
THE ONE REDEEMING FEATURE OF THIS VIDEO
When I first saw it, it was just a standard cynical attempt at sweet….
Yes, that’s right, that’s a ‘Catcher in the Rye’ t-shirt. In this video, a desperate cash-in of the worst kind, one of Britney’s kids wearing a t-shirt featuring a book famous for criticising all that was phony is perhaps the most brilliant irony in all pop music, and opens up an interpretation that the whole video is just a massive satire on the film cash-in song and pop music in general.
Or it’s still crap and the stylist just hadn’t read ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. Probably the latter.
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