Tag Archives: culture

Side-by-Side: Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ & Justin Timberlake’s ‘Like I Love You’

As I’m writing this, I just realized both their names are Justin. That was totally a coincidence, to be clear. I don’t troll around looking for similar videos from artists with the same first name.

Since I have to stay up on my teen popular culture (I’ll say it’s because I just started doing social media for a teen magazine and want to work in the teen market, but I may secretly enjoy teen culture.), I watched Justin Bieber’s new video for “Boyfriend” Thursday night. I’m going to ignore the fact that the intro made me think my computer couldn’t handle all the teen idol gushing off of the Biebs and turned off, when it was actually just some sort of editing effect. Aside from the fact that the girl in video looks extremely uncomfortable (Was Selena on set or something?) and isn’t into him at all, I was instantly reminded of Justin Timberlake’s first solo music video for “Like I Love You.” J.T. chose a lead in the video who could at least pretend to find him attractive and wasn’t always looking off camera (I swear Selena must have been on the set.), but the whole let’s-dance-in-a-crowded-parking-lot-while-we-try-to-pick-up-a-girl scene took me back a while. They also both do a lot of foot movements and wiggle their shoulders, which I guess is supposed to be sexy. Honestly, it just makes me think they’re shaking a mosquito off or something.

Of course, Justin Bieber’s is exclusively in a parking lot, as he stars into the dead eyes of his lady love. (Sorry, but I just can’t get over how long he made us wait just to see some girl who acts like he had bad breath or something.) J.T. branches out a bit, using some sort of stage and dancing around in leather pants. And can we please not ignore Timberlake’s crotchet hat and the fact that he’s wearing 7-11 shirt at a 7-11! Why did we allow celebrities to dress like this and say nothing? Past fashion critics, you should’ve done better.

I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that Bieber is using some past inspiration. With J.T.’s track record, it’s a good move. I just wish Mr. Timberlake would do something musical again. Why do we let Jessica Biel stick around if she’s not even encouraging him to get back in the studio? Jess, you have the power to put an end to his hiatus!

Did I mention I like both of these songs? Because I do. Watch and listen, guys. And let me know if there are any other parking lot pick-up videos from pseudo R&B/Pop artists that I should be aware of.

“Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber

“Like I Love You” by Justin Timberlake

Update [5.4.12 at 9:36 p.m.]: MTV Style compared this video to N*Sync’s “Girlfriend” and I definitely see the similarity there, too.

“Girlfriend” by N*Sync

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In Defense of My Girls: Carrie, Samantha, Miranda & Charlotte

When "Sex and the City 2" hit the big screen last month, a lot of reviewers came out swinging against the movie. But I think friendships like this are worth defending. (Photo courtesy IMDB.com)

Sex and the City has been getting a lot of bad press since the sequel debuted (at over $30 million, mind you) a couple of weeks ago. All I’ve read is articles about how the comments made weren’t funny, how insensitive the desert was portrayed and how nothing in the movie would ever really happen. I would just like to take a few minutes of your time to defend my girls.

Sex and the City has never really been about REALITY in the “overtly-mind-bending-and-life-changing” way that most reviewers want it to be. The truth is, people don’t go to movies for reality, they go to immerse themselves in the wonders of suspended disbelief. When you go see a movie like SATC you go to see reality admist fantasy. Sure, an all-expense paid vacation at a luxury resort in Abu Dhabi is totally unrealistic, but the situations they experienced there (Carrie’s doubts when she sees Aidan; Miranda and Charlotte’s parenting woes) are what real women face every day. The fact that it’s put in a context we can laugh at helps us escape those problems and maybe even handle them better when we leave.

When we look past the humor and the insanely amazing fashion, we find the core of SATC’s success–the friendships. I have to think that a lot of these movie reviewers don’t have real friendships. They don’t have people they can laugh with about silly things (i.e., Carrie to Charlotte: “You have an actual camel camel toe.”) and who will be there with them through thick and thin (Samantha: “We made a deal ages ago. Men, babies, doesn’t matter. We are soul mates.”). If they did, they would see some of their own lives in this movie and, even if they didn’t like the film, acknowledge the love these women have for one another as what keeps the franchise going. When you have truly found friends who love you and don’t judge you, no matter how crazy you may act or how bad some of your decisions may be, then you can’t watch it without acknowleding the power of depicting it so honestly, which the series and movies have consistently done.

If you go to see SATC looking for something profoundly philosophical or life-altering, you won’t find it. But if you go just to enjoy a funny movie (which I doubt people truly can when it becomes their job instead of release from the stresses of their career) with your friends, you might be surprised at what you find (i.e, the themes of defining your marriage on your own terms, not settling for a job if you don’t love it and, a long-running theme in the movies and series, being true to yourself).

Of course the movie wasn’t perfect. No movie ever is. This movie was not made to be philosophical. It wasn’t made to completely change the way you see the world or leave you confused about your moral compass. It was made for your entertainment, especially if you are a fan of the series (on TBS or HBO).

SATC is like a visit from old friends you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe they’ll come back into your life in a year or two; maybe (sadly) you’ll never see them again, but when you think back on the times you had with one another and the growing you’ve done together, it can make everything in your life seem a little brighter.

And I think that’s worth defending.

(You can see my review of the movie here.)

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