Video Review: Nate Ruess "Nothing Without Love"

Under water, the strings on two feet float. Pieces of wood hurl through the air. Nate Ruess gasps for breath in the ocean as he reaches the surface. A material from a pink rose dress floats underwater. An explosion occurs. A young woman stares into the distance.

He runs down a tunnel. With eyes closed, he sings as he treads the water.

Standing by a high-rise with his hands in his pockets, pensive as he looks at the ground. He looks out from the railing.

In a field, with mountains surrounding them, he hugs his girlfriend. She walks backwards as he steps through the grass.

A close-up shot of him blends his face over his girlfriend’s.

In the tunnel, he stomps the ground. In the field, he dances with his girlfriend and they hold hands.

He leans on the railing as snowflakes fall. A crowd of people join him. One man holds an umbrella while another person covers their head with their hands. He pushes his way through the crowd, lost. His girlfriend looks to the right, wondering if he’s there.

He drifts underwater and his girlfriend swims towards him.

In the middle of a city street, he spreads out on the ground as a crowd of people cross to the different sides. His girlfriend is seen next to him and he holds her hand, grateful for her presence.

In the water, she swims towards him as the life drains out of him. She kisses him on the cheek.

The pieces of wood and fire turn back into a piano. He stands on the bench and then tosses it aside. The piano explodes.

He runs towards her at a fountain and puts his forehead against hers.

He sings by himself as he treads the water.

Rating: 1/5

It’s as though Nate Ruess was reading a news publication and saw an advertisement to send a video message to a loved one for Valentine’s Day. But he decided the camera on his phone was limiting. Then, he began looking into hiring people for costumes and directing. It soon became an event, for not only his girlfriend, but he one believed the entire world needed to see.

The ambitious video strains for meaning, squeezing symbolism out of every place it can, transforming it into a textbook metaphor. First, he is drowning from his loneliness and sorrow. He was by himself without anyone to rescue him. He was careening past vacant lives, wasted by alcohol and drugs, willing to fill in the silence with his own spirits.

However, he met his girlfriend. She saved him from himself and is there for him whenever he needs. His heart is swollen with emotion and his life is similar to the romantic movies he once mocked.

Director: Anthony Mandler Year: 2015

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