Video Review: Janet Jackson “When I Think Of You”

At about 9 am in the morning, a stray dog walks down the street. A young woman wrings out her dust rag over the balcony of her apartment. A fortysomething man sweeps the entrance of his store. A little boy dribbles a soccer ball. His best friend follows him on his scooter. A police officer taps the hood of a car where a twentysomething man is sleeping. A second police officer tells his friends sitting in the car they have to leave. They run off.

A homeless woman carries her bags and washes her face at the fire hydrant. A group of friends get out of a taxi and dance in the street. A fortysomething man threatens to call the police on them from his balcony. People pause for the young men playing saxophones. The saxophone players stop at Janet Jackson’s apartment. Jackson smiles as she sees them from her balcony.

She walks back into her apartment and applies lipstick as she stands in the mirror. Her boyfriend kisses her on the cheek and she turns around, looking for him. She slides on the banister and onto the street, where it has become evening. Her friends meet her and they start a dance routine as they make their way in the neighborhood. A couple of people watch them from their balcony. Her male friends jump a fence and fight the sailors who had been taunting them. She tells her friends “let’s go.”

She and her female friends continue the dance routine. Jackson runs into the club and gazes into her boyfriend’s eyes across the table. Her boyfriend plays cello on stage. She joins him and starts to dance. The audience copies her movements. She walks to the kitchen and tastes some sauce with her finger. A photographer takes her picture as she leaves the club. The sailors follow her as she walks. She nods at a young woman standing on the sidewalk at another club.

She hugs her boyfriend as she meets him at his house. A little boy turns on the hydrant. She and her friends dance as water sprinkles over them. The fortysomething man runs over to turn off the hydrant, yelling that he will call the cops. However, the police arrest him and the residents of the neighborhood laugh.

Rating: 5/5

While looking for her own place, Janet Jackson fell in love with an apartment in New York. Her parents cautioned her about leasing it. They tried to lead to her listings in the suburbs. However, she put down the deposit and paid the previous months rent.

In the morning, the horns of the taxis wake her up. As she gets ready, she listens to the hollered conversations over the balconies. On her way to her work, she gives some money to the homeless woman and tunes out the cranky man shouting to the people below.

She looks forward to the evening. Tonight, she’s introducing her friends to her musician boyfriend. He plays cello at a jazz club two blocks away from her home. She met him on her first day while looking for somewhere to eat. Hearing music, she walked in and listened. Her stomach growled as she watched him play the cello. After a song, she asked the bartender for directions to the nearest restaurant. He chimed in with a recommendation. A month later, he took her out on their first date together.

Walking home, she and her boyfriend laugh as the cranky fortysomething man gets lectured by the cops for bothering them. He gets belligerent and they arrest him. Her neighbor comments that “maybe it’ll finally be peaceful around here.” She laughs and hugs her boyfriend.

Director: Julien Temple Year: 1986

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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 and has been published in the White Wall Review.

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