Video Review: Selena Gomez "Bad Liar"

Circa 1978, Selena Gomez rides her bike on the shoulder of the road, passing by the mountains, on the way to school. Someone passes by in their car and she glances at them.

At school, she places her bike in the rack and stares up towards the second floor. She bumps into a group of three young women and apologizes. She gets her book out for first period class. Head down, she walks to class, looking up briefly. A group of popular girls whisper and laugh, barely letting her pass through them.

In chemistry class, she watches as her father (also Selena Gomez) leans against a young woman’s (also Gomez) car. They chat and the young woman leaves. Her father spots her and waves to her. Gomez pretends to be writing notes. Her classmates look at Gomez and then whisper, giving her disgusted looks.

As she heads upstairs, she sees her father talking with the young woman by the stairwell.  He gestures for the young woman to come closer to him. However, the young woman sees Gomez and backs off, glaring at her. She runs off.

In gym, she plays dribbles the basketball and smiles at the young woman, who is teacher. Her father watches from the locker room. Her mother (also Gomez) waits to pick him up after work. While she throws the basketball, she sees her father fiddling with his pants, trying to hide an erection.

Her mother drives him home. During dinner, she explains she thinks the washer isn’t working right and if he could look at it over the weekend. She sips her wine. He sips his soda through a straw. She says nothing, believing she married a toddler.He chews on his food and she sighs.

Gomez rides back home from school and walks in the door. Her mother calls out “hello” and she shakes her head. She sits on her bed, listening to music and begins to dance. She hears footsteps and then lies down on her bed, closing her eyes. Her mother knocks on the door when she walks in and checks on her. Gomez rubs the Polaroid of her gym teacher.

Rating: 2/5

Selena Gomez wants to fly under the radar at high school. However, her father’s actions are making it difficult to get through the day. His blatant crush on the gym teacher is quickly leading to an affair. Her classmates think her father’s a pervert and she has seen her own father get an erection while watching the gym teacher. Embarrassed, she keeps her distance from her father.

At home, her mother and father hardly talk. He dismisses her conversation about housework while she thinks he’s an entitled child who is only concerned about herself. She knows he is involved with someone. His co-workers have given her pity looks whenever they see her. She wants to divorce him but worries about her daughter. She doesn’t say much and stays in her room once she gets home.

However, Gomez is realizing she likes women. Her crush is also on the gym teacher. Her mother tries to bring up boys but she avoids the subject. She isn’t sure how to say she likes women. Somehow, she can’t fault her father for liking the gym teacher. She is pretty and wishes she would leave her father alone. She would like to have a chance.

The multiple parts played by Selena Gomez take shortcuts to tell the story.  She is as able to differentiate herself as a quiet, confused sixteen-year-old and to a resentful mother who wants to hold the family together.

As the brutish father, though, she is out of her range. With the floppy wig and mustache, she’s seems in disguise, awkwardly trying to get noticed. As a male, she judges him as crude and shameless. While as the gym teacher, she’s conflicted. She views the gym teacher as flaky and conniving, as she has her suck up to his daughter during class. Separate actors would’ve fixed the problem.

Director: Jesse Peretz Year: 2017


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