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12 December 2018

Thank U, Next

by Alice May

Ariana Grande: “Thank U, Next” - 5 mins 24s

It doesn't matter whether Ariane Grande's music is your thing or not - this is one of those tracks that's so lush and sinuous it'll seep its way into your consciousness and feel linked to the festive season forever... in the best way.

In marked contrast to the majority of relationship-led lyrics steeped in regret / reproach / defiance, 'Thank U, Next' is a kind of bildungsroman in which she thanks her exes for all the ways they've - inadvertently or otherwise - helped her to grow. There's a winning combination of deadpan sass and grace about it, and Hannah Lux Davis's all-star, big production promo has not only captured this but amplified it to the max.

The clip is packed with more Easter eggs (or should that be mince pies?) than you could eat in a month of Christmas Days, and the result is like a mainline shot of pure feelgood: you can't help but find yourself walking lighter afterwards.

Lux Davis has incorporated knowing references to iconic movies with a strong female lead and peppered the whole with cameos from Grande's equally iconic friends. We see nods to Mean Girls, Bring It On, Legally Blonde (with Jennifer Coolidge reprising her unforgettable role) and more.

For instance, Kris Jenner becomes Amy Poehler's Mrs George from Mean Girls, replete with pink leisurewear and video camera. Grande even has the equivalent of the notorious Burn Book - her book of exes - with an apparent apology to her ex-fiance Pete Davidson scrawled on one of the pages.

This is really clever - these are films on the cultural radar of more than one generation of women, and are invariably recalled with great affection. There are ad lib moments galore, and the promo bears repeated viewing; not only to spot the things we missed on previous occasions but because it's just so - well - fabulously enjoyable.

'Thank U, Next' is smart without being snarky, and somehow refreshingly, deliciously wholesome. We suspect teen girls, their mums, and every other person who ever loved the Bend And Snap will remember everything about the moment they first saw this. We here at David certainly will.

Film Production: London Alley Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Hannah Lux Davis ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Brandon Bonfiglio
Executive Producer: Luga Podesta / Brandon Bonfiglio / Andrew Lerios
Cinematographer: Chris Probst
Production Designer: John Richoux
Editor: Hannah Lux Davis ♀ / Taylor Tracy

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