Video Review: H.E.R. “Hard Place”

H.E.R. plays guitar in bed while her boyfriend, Leo nods his head beside her. They cuddle in bed and she puts his hand on his face. She runs into the apartment and shows him the sign advertising their performance at a local club. He holds up several flyers by his face.

She skips into the apartment, holding flowers as he carries in the groceries. They dance. They sit on the couch and work on a song.

They talk to one another as they walk into the club. He takes his keyboard out of the box. They stare into one another’s eyes. They perform for the crowd. Two guys from a record label discuss them while they sit at a table. While she packs up her guitar, one of the men approaches her and says “hello.” He introduces himself and hands her his business card. He tells her she’s “absolutely fantastic.”

At home, Leo says “he wants you.” She tries to explain but he walks away from her. Holding the business card, he tells her “you should do it. You should call him.” At the vanity, she puts on her sunglasses.

In black-and-white, she does a photo shoot and greet fans. Her Youtube numbers skyrocket. A headline reads “Breakout star H.E.R. shines on her first North American tour.”

Back in color, she presents Leo with his own flyer, framed on the wall. She gives him a leather jacket and hugs him. Lit in neon pink, she claps for him in the front row as he performs. A fan takes a picture with her. Backstage, Leo says “it fucking sucks” and that “nobody is there!” He walks away from her. She leans against the wall, putting her hands over her face.

In her dressing room, Leo watches her as she fluffs her hair. They walk to the stage together. He watches as she perform in concert. He walks away and sits on a box, rubbing his hands over his face.

Rating: 5/5

The producer kisses H.E.R. and she doesn’t pull away. He asks her if she’s okay with it. She nods her head. He explains to her that she has no reason to feel guilty. She says Leo co-wrote the song she performed that impressed the A&R guy. She got him booked for some shows but he quit. He puts his hands on her arms and tells her she tried. Leo may have helped her, but he doesn’t have the It factor she has.

She holds the producer’s hand as they walk the red carpet together. He whispers in her ear that everyone loves her. They get stopped by entertainment reporters as they walk into the theater. She confirms with the reporter that she’s now dating her producer. The reporter gushes and says they make a great couple.

Leo wasn’t a footnote. The online article reduces her time with him as a stint. They had been a duo for several years. He had been the one to push her to become a songwriter. Up until two years ago, she only sang with him. Somewhere, Leo thinks he’s replaceable person with little talent.

She hums a melody while she sits on the couch and thinks of a lyric out loud. She writes it down and closes her eyes as she plays. Her producer-boyfriend sips his coffee as he watches her work. He reads the lyrics written on the piece of paper and calls the record label. He tells them they have their lead single for the album. She opens her eyes and writes down more lyrics. Her producer/boyfriend tells her they have studio time tomorrow to record the song. She tells him it’s not finished. It’s a rough draft. He tells her it’s a hit regardless. He says to continue working on it as long as she likes. However, they’ll work on it together in the studio, too.

It’s a number one hit. The record company is going to present her with a gold plaque. She smiles to herself as she hears it in the store as she shops. The song was truly her own.

Director: N/A Year: 2019

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 ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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