Video Review: Mary J. Blige “Family Affair”

Outside Club Mary J, the line is long and cars are pulling up by the door to better their chances of entering the new hotspot.

With a metallic blue top and shredded jeans, Mary J. Blige goes inside the club.

Against a neon green background of radio waves, she bobs her head. It expands to show her dancing, wearing a hat and a low-cut orange top and tight white pants.

Inside, dancers are performing choreography to the music.  She joins, with an asymmetrical haircut with white streaks while wearing a black leather top, shorts and fishnets.

A guy jingles his keys as the bouncer, holding a tray, glares at him.

Dr. Dre in a Lakers jersey puts his hands up.

On a bed, a couple cuddles. They look up from their snuggling, wondering why someone is bothering them.

Sitting on a long couch, surrounded by friends and a plate of lobster, she moves her arms and legs to the music.

A server enters another section of the club, where people can lay down. Each section is marked by a different color with matching sets on the beds. People wait for their drinks.

A guy nestles by her boyfriend, some food by them. Blige tosses a wing to the camera. She holds up a glass. Another couple makes out.

Blige enters through a sparsely white beaded curtain to another part of the club. There, a guy listens to the music, his girlfriend beside him. She dances in front of the curtain. A guy tries to get her attention.

Sitting on the couch, two young women notice a guy by himself, sighing. They check him out. One of the young women puts her lips together for a kiss. He is surprised she noticed him.

Another guy stares at Blige and she could care less. She dismisses him with a wave of her hand.

Further into the club, she stands on a platform, a crescent blue waterfall behind her, dancing as a crowd of people move along with her.

By the waterfall, the bartenders pour drinks, lit in blue. Dr. Dre shakes his friend’s hand. A couple dances by the neon green radio waves. The man sticks out his chest, his shirt open and blowing.

At a photo booth (which is set up as though it were a shoot), the female dancers stand in a line. One woman opens her shirt. The color changes to black-and-white.

Blige dances behind the neon green background. Dr. Dre shimmies. Two guys get their photos taken. More guys dance, taking over the section.

The bouncer makes the cut gesture with his hand by his throat and kicks two guys out of the club.

Rating: 4.5/5

Most clubs featured in music videos are nondescript with little to offer in the way of amenities. It’s simply a portion of a club put on a stage.

Club Mary J is a fully elaborate set-up, including long, winding couches to rest and eat, a circular dance floor with the illusion of a waterfall behind the bar. No ordinary appetizers are offered. It’s gourmet hot wings mixed with champagne.

If Club Mary J were real, it would be featured in the local’s area nightlife section with a five-star review. It’s a comfortable setting with a cozy atmosphere, with opportunities to either relax or dance. Who is there to speak to for VIP membership? Preferably, a silver card allowing access to the couches with plates of food. Put it on the charge.

Director: Dave Meyers Year: 2001

 

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