Justin Bieber's 'Boyfriend' Video: A 15-Step Analysis
Imagine you're Justin Bieber. You're an international pop superstar with swag seeping out of your teenage pores. You just released your first "adult" single, "Boyfriend," and you want a killer visual to shine like you're laying in the snow. So what do you do? Hire Director X, round up some sick cars and beautiful people, and hit the rooftop just before sunset, of course.
In 3 minutes and 31 seconds, the "Boyfriend" video (which premiered on Thursday, May 3) offers a slew of super-cool images to coincide with Bieber's musical skill, emotional maturity and overall swagginess. There are too many great moments in the clip to count, but here are 15 of our favorite:
Bieber's Watching You (0:04 into the video)
He gazes up at the camera with icy confidence. "Oh, hello, were you looking for me? I've been right here all along."
Look At This Video! On My Phone! (0:22)
Bieber's world is actually being voyeuristically admired by two attractive ladies in an equally attractive convertible! They are LOVING the Biebs! But why not go inside and watch the video on TV or your laptop, girls? Bieber should be appreciated in high-def glory.
Watch Out For the Shadow Hands, Justin! (0:30)
The first 30 seconds end with a bunch of anonymous hands grasping our hero and pulling him into the darkness, like the ghouls dragging Willy Lopez to the netherworld in "Ghost." It's a disastrous second of footage for Bieber, but thankfully...
IT'S ALL FAKE! (0:31)
That's right, the first 30 seconds of the video are just icicle-filled fodder for the REAL video, which gets a proper introduction and rooftop setting. The audible is abrupt and recalls a "REEEE-MIX!" treatment, but feels like the work of an evil genius: after all, young Bieber has just tricked us into watching his beautiful antics for an extra 30 seconds. World domination comes from subtle techniques, and entrancing our eyeballs for an additional half-minute is the slyest of moves.
Falsetto Countdown (1:00)
Classic Biebs, in control behind the wheel, helps us count down to the falsetto reveal. The ladies look on, fascinated by the promise of his falsetto, as Justin slips in an extra 'swag,' as he always should.
Dramatic Glasses Take-Down (1:08)
"Hey girl... let me talk to you," a pensive Bieber sings as he slowly removes his shades and ever-so-slightly furrows his brow. The viewer cannot tell what Bieber is looking at, but judging from his grave expression, he's looking staring at the most beautiful woman in the world or has just seen a ghost on the rooftop. This face, my friends, could one day get Bieber an Oscar.
Too Cool For Driving Safety (1:17)
It's one thing to do some donuts in your tricked-out car. It's entirely another to be so good at doing donuts that you can calmly sing into the camera without even peeking out the windshield at where you're headed. This in-control shot could someday lead to Bieber starring in "Fast & The Furious 6: All Roads To Canada."
Did Bieber just do a second-long Dougie on the word "swaggy"? Is that even legal? Did Cali Swag District just change its name to Cali Swaggy District? Clearly, we weren't ready for this.
Bieber, Guitarist (1:51)
Forget the dancing people around him. Why would Bieber want to boogie when he can serenade their souls and demonstrate his artistry? The teen star's pained expression and gentle strumming are enough to woo any potential girlfriend.
Mystery Girl Appears (2:10)
For most of the video, Bieber is preoccupied with a single girl who sort of resembles his real-life lady Selena Gomez. But who is this actress sitting in the passenger seat of a car, eyeing Bieber and looking kind of angry about this whole rooftop-dancing affair? Why isn't she out dancing too? Is she scared? Maybe her moves aren't fly. But do you think Bieber and his friends would really judge her like that? We're lost on this one.
Backseat Seduction (2:20)
Bieber's chilling with his girl in the backseat of his car, leaving the party behind for a little intimacy. His arm is smoothly wrapped around her, and his hand rises to meet hers. His head nudges up against hers, and when the Biebs breaks out the falsetto and pleads, "So give me a chance...," resistance is futile. When Bieber swags on you in a backseat, you're powerless to his charm.
"Chunky Bieber" (2:58)
Sometimes, legends are created over time. Other times, they emerge fully formed and presented to the world. Such is the case with "Chunky Bieber." Someone get this man his own 3 minutes and 31 seconds of music video magic.
Just a cool dance move, arguably Bieber's finest in the whole clip. He seems so nonchalant throughout the winning piece of choreography, simply letting the rhythm take hold of him and his boys back him up.
"Watch My Shoes" (3:12)
The King Midas of Pop slays with the close-up on his gold-colored kicks, sliding across the shiny surface with the ease of his mentor, Usher. As the song winds down, Bieber is still flashing swag through the selection and utilization of his footwear.
Kiss? Maybe? (3:20)
The clip cuts to black as Bieber gazes at his girl, perhaps suggesting an impending kiss -- or an awkward goodbye. The climactic smooch never comes, but for the sake of the Bieber-Gomez union, it's for the best, really.