Video Review: Mary J. Blige “Be Without You”

In black-and-white, Mary J. Blige walks to her apartment and puts her forehead on the glass. She opens the medicine cabinet inside her bathroom and then looks into the mirror. She sits on her bed, typing on her laptop.

In color, she and her husband (Terence Howard) fight in the family room. He takes his jacket and walks out the door.

Back in black-and-white, she paces back and forth on the rug. She rubs her arms, the sparks of the fire crackling in the fireplace cooling her. She checks her cell phone to see if he called.

In color, she naps on the couch. He brushes some hair away from her face and kisses her on the cheek. She wakes up and gazes into his eyes.

Back in black-and-white, she rocks in a chair and then stares at the wall.

In color, her husband speaks to their friends as she sets the dinner table. They smile at one another. He puts his arm around her. During dinner, as their friends sip their wine and eat, they gaze at another. A man opens the door for her and helps her out of the car. She steps onto the red carpet, holding the man’s hand. She raises her arms above the row of lit candles on the table.

Back in black-and-white, two candles melt on the floor.

In color, she opens the door and he gives her a hug.

Rating: 4/5

Mary J. Blige opens the medicine cabinet and swallows some aspirin. She has been crying since her husband left the apartment. She sits on the couch and puts her hand on her forehead. That’s it. Thirteen years of marriage over. She looks around the apartment. It’s going to be sold. She thinks she could live with her parents for a while.

In the last few years of their relationship, she has become the breadwinner. The multiple promotions have helped them pay them off some debt and move into an affluent city. Unfortunately, it has meant late hours at the office and cancelling a vacation at the last minute.

While it’s a relief to her they no longer have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck anymore, she rather not his marriage to her job. She could step down from her responsibilities and take on a reduced role.

He returns a few hours later and apologizes. He says he truly loves her but has missed her lately. The vacation was something he was looking forward to and it would’ve meant time with her only her. She says she’ll talk to her boss and they can reschedule their trip to Europe.

Director: Matthew Rolston Year: 2005

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.