Video Review: Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald “On My Own”

In New York, Patti LaBelle watches as traffic stops at the light and a few people hail some cabs from her highrise apartment. The screen splits into the two. On the left, the ocean waves roll to the shore near a beach house. Michael McDonald, carrying his jacket over his shoulder, walks to window and looks stares at the waves. She crumbles a piece of paper as she sits at the table.

She looks out the window again. He sits at the table.

Wearing a white fur coat, she stands on the rooftop of a building. The screen splits into again as she walks on the Brooklyn Bridge. Hand in his pockets, he walks on the sand. Back on the right, she looks at unopened boxes as she leans against the glass. He shuts the screen door and picks up his duffel bag.

He stands on the cliff of the mountain while she spreads out her arms at the bridge. The cars drive in the two lanes while people walk in between them.

Rating: 4/5

Patti LaBelle has to get out of the house. She stares out her window and reports a traffic light being out. For the past hour and a half, traffic has been halted and she has seen almost two crashes happen as a result. She calls on the number of the back of the boxed soup. She informs the change in their recipe has made their product bland. After hanging up, she returns to window and shakes her head. The police still hadn’t arrived to help with traffic. She reads the newspaper again. She calls up her mom to talk but no one answers.

Being single again has been a tough adjustment for her. She and McDonald had lived together for over a decade. No longer does she wake to coffeemaker brewing and the rustle of dishes in the early morning. She would roll over in bed and groan. He had been an early riser and liked to be out the door by 8 am. He worked the late shift and it helped him to be productive. However, she believed it was a way of avoiding her.

McDonald didn’t want to get married. Both his and her families were pressuring him to propose. He told them they could love one another without a piece of paper. They could do whatever they wanted without legal entanglements. She started to sleeping in longer and waited for him to leave for work before she woke up. He ate breakfast alone and left love notes around the house, saying he missed her. He busied himself with chores.

While on vacation with his best friend, he bought a beach house and stayed there. He had his best friend pick up his stuff from her apartment. LaBelle plans to move in with her parents for a while. Her father has had a hard time walking and she’d be able to give her mom a break. She had put in a for a leave of absence. She knows she won’t have a job once she comes back. But she needs to get away from her lonely home and be with family.

Director: N/A Year: 1986

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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