Video Review: Vanessa Carlton “White Houses”

While sitting in her apartment, Vanessa Carlton takes a sip of water from her glass and begins to play the piano. The lights from the city blink through the window. A second version of herself sulks on the red couch and drinks some water. Her cat jumps off.

The second version of herself begins to wave her arms and dance by two open doors. Outside, the cloudless sky frames the pure blue of the ocean. She rolls her hips and scampers across the floor on her tiptoes.

Carlton rests her head on the piano.

The second version of herself leaps in the air and rolls over on the floor. She takes a breather for a moment and lifts up her hair. She looks outside and then slides on the floor. She walks and drinks some water. She climbs on top of the piano and crawls, chasing Carlton away.

Carlton kicks some laundry from a bookcase and returns to her piano. The second version of her leaves and glances over her shoulder as she walks. She spins and pirouettes. She falls while turning. Carlton looks up from her piano to check on her. The second version of herself holds onto her ankle and breathes hard.

Rating: 1/5

Vanessa Carlton cringes at her teenage years. She was in a hurry to be grown up and made some questionable decisions. While hanging out at the mall, she stole some jewelry from a store with another friend. Unfortunately, the behavior led to the dissolution of some good friendships. They saw her as trouble and distanced herself from her.

She really wanted a boyfriend. He didn’t have to be a popular jock. He had to be someone who simply gave her some attention. She flirted with numerous guys and finally, she met someone through her troubled friend. They hung out at her friend’s house. A month later, she lost her virginity to him. He stopped returning her calls. She cried for several months afterwards. The used feeling wouldn’t go away.

As an adult, she sees her teenage self as naive know-it-all who wouldn’t listen to advice. Her mother wanted to know what was wrong and she slammed the door in her face. Through the door, her mother forbade her to hang out with her troubled friend. It was yet another thing taken from her. She shouted at her mom and told her she hated her.

Over dinner at her apartment, she thanked her mom for not giving up on her. She tells her she understands now. She wouldn’t have made it through college without her. Her mom laughs as she recalls Carlton calling her up, asking about laundry. Her mom gets up to clean the table. However, she tells her no. She’s a guest and needs to stay at the table. As she opens the refrigerator, she reminds her mom to be nice. She made her first cheesecake. “I hope it turned out all right.” However, she adds that she bought a store-bought one just in case it’s too disgusting to eat.

They both take a bite and Carlton scrunches her face. Her mom says it’s good. Carlton shakes her head and gets out the store-bought one.

Director: N/A Year: 2004

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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 poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.

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