Video Review: Monica “The First Night”

Holding a pair of opera glasses to her eyes, Monica sits a couch.

In the lobby of the theater, Monica and some dancers perform a routine, filmed using a curved angle.

A group of guys stand together while Monica is with a group of girls, talking. Meanwhile, a spotlight scans the area. On the stairs, people dance.

She stands in the center of a room, holding a rose where men sit on two couches on each side of her.

On the couch, her date puts his around her and Monica side eyes him. Another couple cuddles on the couch and then a group of men lounge around. The guy stretches out his arms for another try and Monica taps his arm with the opera glasses.  She touches his chin, gesturing him to move his head closer. She moves the glasses to his eyes and then waves her fingers.

Roses are strewn on the floor. A young man holds onto his girlfriend’s waist. Monica sits on another couch and the camera pans to a kitchen sink. It circles back, showcasing a mirror and then returns to Monica on the second couch.

A couple snuggles on the couch. She plays with the video camera.

Back on the first couch, Monica sets down the rose. The group of girls lounge on the couch.The groups then merge. The girlfriend films a young man break dancing in the center of the room.

On the couch, her date turns away from her and she giggles. A young woman hits her boyfriend in the face with a pillow.

The dance routine continues in the lobby. Monica finds her date, who takes her by the hand and they walk through the group.

Back on the couch, Monica puts her lips close to his. As he leans in, she moves away.

Rating: 1/5

The theater, although sophisticated, casts Monica as old-fashioned. Somehow, compared to her peers, it makes her seem old-fashioned and frigid. Considering, everyone is wearing white, the thinking becomes cult-like. Her friends play on the couch with their video camera, snuggling. Meanwhile, she won’t let a guy near her. It’s twisted logic and applies the double standards towards sex.

Monica, though, is able to stop her date from applying any pressure by tapping his arm and takes control of the situation by pretending to kiss him.  The only thing she’s giving him is side-eye. Among the hormonal and sexually frustrated friends who sit on the couch, bored, she is the one who is thinking for herself.

Midway through, the video becomes dim and people (including Monica) begun to get filmed from odd places. One couple gets filmed from the waist down while Monica’s eyes are cut off in another angle. However, it’s an one-off segment that seems to be rebelling against the dancing. It’s as though it’s the video Joseph Kahn actually wanted to make but the idea was rejected.

Director: Joseph Kahn Year: 1998

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImynIRpbQLE

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