Video Review: Carly Rae Jepsen “Boy Problems” 

A teenage girl with a big bow in her hair against a green background says “listen.” Another teenage girl, against a mauve background, with an apathetic expression says “just.” While a thirtysomething woman, against an orange background, shrugs her shoulder to the side and says “leave.” While another teenage girl, in a white dress, says “or stay” Four of the women are featured in blocks on the screen.

When the last block fades, it leads to Carly Rae Jepsen, in a darkened room, with a tiara on her head. With her iPad, decorated with hearts, reads her Facebook page. She hugs her iPad to her chest. She goes back to reading it again. Not liking what she saw, she pouts and throws a pillow. She takes a tissue and dabs her eyes. She wraps a blanket around herself. She cries into the tissue. She dances around the room with her iPad. She jumps on the bed.

A palm tree cutout leads to a young woman sitting on the beach, checking her phone and rolling her eyes at her best friend’s text message. She and her friends talk about what’s going on in their friend’s ever dramatic love life.

A cheery woman walks through an office, excited to tell her friends about her boyfriend. Her co-worker picks up the phone. The cheery woman rolls her eyes. Back at the office, the cheery woman has a puzzled expression and walks away. She looks over her co-worker’s shoulder. One woman “oohs” at the screen. The once cheery woman begins to cry.

The screen splits into four blocks of women. It decides to focus on the latter block, where three thirteen-year-old girls are having a slumber party. One girl sits on the bed, checking the laptop while one girl chats away. The girl in the middle seems trapped, unable to get out of the conversation but not close enough to make a grab for the laptop. The other girls can’t take the talking any longer. One of the girl, who is wearing a “Cherry Baby” t shirt rolls her eyes and then twirls a piece of hair. She slams the laptop down.

One girl shows a message on her phone to her best friend. Meanwhile, another girl, in a wedding dress climbs into a coffin. Sitting up in the coffin, she cries. Two of her friends are mourning the life they can no longer have vicariously through their friend. Dressed in black, they sob and hold champagne flutes. Inside the coffin, she posts on Facebook. She snaps a selfie of herself. After she’s done feeling sorry for herself, she leaves the coffin.

Jepsen, inside a silver curtain on a brightly lit stage, wearing a shimmery gold halter, sings. All the women featured in the video surround her, dressed in white. After moving outside the silver curtain, she sings.

The screen splits into six blocks, featuring different women. One woman lifts the lace of her dress to her eyes. Mostly, they move their heads.

On the stage, the women join her in a circle. Some give her a hug.


Rating: 0/5

The video isn’t sure if it wants to be glamorous or cheap. Unfortunately, favors cheap. It recycles the excellent work of Gia Coppola’s “Your Type,” right down to the shades of color. The girls all annoyed each other. They are either on their phones or rolling their eyes. Jepsen is in the dark for most of the time, still wearing a tiara and addicted to her iPad. The only moment that clicks is on the brightly lit stage. Everyone is much more relaxed and having fun. There, they are spending time together rather than complaining.

It’s being sullen as a way to be arty, which works against the video. It pits the women against each other with Jepsen, far more interested in gossip and being involved in the drama than the actual friendships.

Director: Petra Collins  Year: 2016

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