Video Review: John Legend “Ordinary People”

In black-and-white, John Legend takes a sip of water walks to the piano. He sets his glass down on the piano and starts to play.

A few feet away, a couple argues over having a baby. She tells him a baby won’t solve their problems. She pushes him and he slaps her on the mouth. She puts her hand on the side of her mouth and glares at him.

A little boy covers his ears while his mom and dad fight. She yells that she knew he was cheating. He pulls her arm as she tries to walk away. She picks the little boy up and his father takes him away from her.

A young woman tells her parents she doesn’t want to go to college. Her mother gulps and looks to her husband, who has given up.

An orchestra appears, accompanying Legend as he plays.

The young man who slapped his girlfriend puts his hand over his face. She looks him in the eye. The little boy smiles as he stands between his parents. The young woman, wearing a cap and gown, sniffs the flowers her parents gave her after graduation.

The people disappear and a mosquito flies to Legend’s glass. He takes the glass and gets up from the piano bench.

Rating: 3/5

Every day, families face life-altering decisions and conflicts. Two out of the three families manage to work their issues. However, one couple is at a crossroads.

The little boy can’t handle his parents’ arguing. He wants them to be happy again. Mommy keeps shouting that Daddy has been talking to another person. He wishes Mommy would listen to Daddy. Mommy says she’ll keep him and Daddy won’t ever see him again. He wants to see Daddy! Why would Mommy do that? Daddy grabbed him from Mommy, telling her he has rights. After going over Daddy’s new house for a while, he and Mommy decided to be a family again. They hug him as he takes a family photo and he can’t stop smiling. He was so scared Daddy was going to leave forever.

A young woman wants to take a gap year after high school. She tells her parents that she can’t take the pressure of college and doesn’t see the point of it. Her mom doesn’t know what to say. She believes her daughter is making a mistake. One year could turn into five. Her husband, though, has given up. He says that she is old enough to make her own decisions and that they can’t stop her. Four years later, though, she graduates from college. She was scared of moving away and the coursework. However, she made new friends and discovered an interest in politics and social issues. She graduated with a degree in international relations and plans to go to work for a non-profit overseas.

The first couple’s relationship had been tumultuous. Despite her aggression during their fights, he wouldn’t ever touch her. But hearing her that their relationship wasn’t strong enough for a baby is his breaking point. He hits her. She holds onto her throbbing lip, her teeth hurting from the slap. She glares at him as the shame fills him. What he did was wrong. He knows it. But she can’t forgive him. He comes from work and the house is silent. She won’t talk to him. Two months later, she says she’s moving out. She can’t trust him anymore.

Director: N/A Year: 2005

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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