Outside a diner in New York City, a police officer stops at the light and chews on his pizza. Inside, though, Tori Kelly is talking with her friends. They begin to tap on the table, using the silverware and cups as she sings.
Sitting by the windowsill, she continues to sing while her friends begin to dance. The other diners stay seated at their tables and talk. Some of them do turn around and glance.
She moves to the counter and sits on the stool. The owner/cook watches and then stands off to the side, not knowing how to the handle the ruckus. A server takes down an order, tapping her pen to the music.
Two homeless people pass by the diner and pause when they hear the music. One guy puts his shopping cart aside and dances. The other guy holds his cat close to him, snuggling him as he shuffles along.
At the counter, she puts her arm around the busboy. The cook tells them to get their butts off the counter, people eat there, you know. They listen and decide to stand instead. The cook continues to shout at them, telling them to go outside, this is not Fame! She and the busboy laugh.
One of her friends looks at the flourescent lights and gets an idea. He walks over to the light switch and turns it off. The cook puts napkins in the container, thinking the electricity went out. Meanwhile, she and her band have set up in the corner, playing her song. The cook looks up and then shrugs, giving up on being crotchety for the night. He moves his shoulders to the music.
The police officer, watching from his side view mirror, starts to dance a little in his car. A ballerina peeks in through the window and jumps in the air. She hugs the pole and kicks up her foot.
Leaving the dinner, she puts her hand to her mouth, watching her friends break dance on the street. She leans against the window, singing some more.
She and her friends are just getting by. They eat at local diners around New York City when they can afford it and catch up on their lives. She told them about finishing the recording for her album and the label has decided her first single. Her friends want to hear it. Right there at the diner, she begins to sing it.
Somehow, it seems so normal, almost as a celebration of making it. When the cranky owner gets mad at them for disrupting his customers, she obeys, realizing he has a business that he cares about. However, with her impromptu performance, she shows him that she’s more than a wannabe theater performer trolling his customers for money, he softens.
The attention to detail is phenomenal. While diner has seen some remodeling over the years, the sticky, brown booths remain along with the paper placemats with a golden, entwining circling border bought in bulk from the supplier. It’s a familiarity she and her friends enjoy. Much like the menu and the placemats, the place hasn’t changed much when they used eat dinner there with their families as kids and after she’s become well-known, it will still be the same.
Director: Ryan Pallotta Year: 2015
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