In a jail cell, a man (Beau Bridges) sleeps sitting up. The guard calls “Fifteen!” and the buzzer wakes him up. The guard tells him he’s going to be released and instructs him to put his hands behind his back. The man does what he is told. The guard asks if he has anyone to call. He responds “my granddaughter.” The guard places the call.
The guard hands him the telephone as he tells her that he is getting out. He pleads with her to come soon. Meghan Trainor drives through the rural area and waits in her car. As she stares, she thinks that she would rather taken the day off and go for a road trip.
The guard hands him his medication and he fills out the paperwork.
She hears the door click and she looks up to see her grandfather walking towards her with only a blanket in his hand. He asks where the hell she was. She says she has been there for hours. He scoffs.
On the way home, he tries to bond with her by taking the hood of her sweatshirt off her head and rubbing her hair. She tells him to stop. He apologizes and says he needs more medication. She questions it and he doesn’t care. He brushes part of her back and says that he loves her. He calls her his “little rascal.” She shrugs off his affection.
She opens the hair salon later in the morning. After she turns on the light, she shakes her head. Her grandfather follows her inside and sits on one of the plastic chairs. As she works, her grandfather tries to adjust living in a home again. He pours coffee into a “I Love Grandpa” mug. He finds a hidden stash of liquor behind some books and pours some in the mug. He swallows some pills then enters the hair salon.
As she is cutting a client’s hair, he begins to joke with him and then sit in a chair. One of her employees keeps an eye in the kitchen and lets Trainor know her grandfather is taking more pills. She gives a worried look to her employee. When she is done, she confronts him in the kitchen and takes the pill bottle away.
He goes to a bar and asks for another drink. The bartender thinks her grandfather is going to be a problem. He takes the baseball cap off the guy sitting next to him. The bartender intervenes and gives it back to the other guy. The bartender tells him to stop. He turns the cap around on the other guy’s head. The bartender orders her grandfather out. He walks in a daze around the bar, tapping the walls and then he finally passes out in the bathroom.
She sees him outside and smiles, telling him she found his cup while he digs through the trash. He tells her that it’s not what is looking for. It was something important. She looks down, hurt.
The bartender finds him and slaps his face lightly to get him to wake up. He calls Trainor.
Trainor tells her client she’ll be right back and answers the phone. The bartender tells her that he’s “out cold.” She apologizes and says she’ll be right there.
She picks him up and leads him out the door. He asks her if she wants a drink. She tells him no. Then, he asks about the car. She tells him no, she’s driving and the car doesn’t matter. At home, she lets him sleep it off on the couch.
She cries to the bartender and he gives her a hug. As he sleeps, she begins to cry. In her room, she yells in frustration. He decides to go to church and ask for forgiveness. He lights a candle. He returns back home and sees the picture on his mirror of when Trainor was little.
He knocks on the door to the home salon. No one answers and he sets the gift on the chair. He pounds on all the doors. Her employee tells her that her grandfather is being arrested again. She cries again and runs back to her home. However, he is already in the police car. She sees the gift and opens it.
He returns back to jail. Trainor bursts into tears and holds the picture frame on her face.
In the video, Meghan Trainor’s character has gone through a lot in life. Her grandfather has been in jail. She has learned to rely on herself. She would’ve liked to gone on to college. She had the grades but couldn’t afford it. However, she knew how to cut hair and decided to go to cosmetology school. Then, she couldn’t find a job at any hair salon. She and her friend decided to build one at home and work from there.
In the meantime, she keeps in contact with her grandfather in jail. She visits him and makes sure he has all his medication. She knows he abuses it but she still gets it for him anyway. She wants to take care of him.
However, he is too much for her. He is an alcoholic and addicted to pills. He can’t be by himself and he can’t get a job. There is nowhere for him to go. However, he wants to change. He knows he is a disappointment and a burden. He plans to leave. For him, jail is home. It’s all he has known.
For Trainor, she’s wanted her grandfather in her life for so long but wishes she could change his life and help him not to make the same mistakes. She loves him. He’s the only real family she has left.
Stirring and emotional, “Better” wants the best for everyone but knows it’s not possible. People have to deal with the hand they are given. The reality is a sucker punch to the gut: Trainor will never fully realize her potential and her grandfather will always be considered a criminal.
Director: Tim Mattia Year: 2016
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