The U.S./U.K. special relationship has reached new heights.
Not since Reagan and Thatcher has so much disquieting stilted chemistry spanned these two great nations.
Released at midnight on Thursday, the video for the Taylor Swift & Zayn Malik collaboration I Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker) sees the established American social media magnate and the more recently-ennobled British darling join forces against a volley of red strobes and paparazzi flashguns.
The track is from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack which will be released to coincide with the arrival of the movie in cinemas on February 10, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Twitter reactions have been more mixed.
The video, is filmed in London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
It’s raining obviously (London, remember?), there are portly, grizzled paparazzi, there are flashbulbs and mood lighting. And then there is Zayn, a perfectly crafted paean to the power of Simon Cowell. The former One Direction member, 24, may have laid bare his less glamorous side in his ‘memoir’ which detailed ADHD misdiagnosis, eating disorders and nearly “shitting himself” on his first flight, but there’s no denying the man is beautiful.
No wonder Taylor’s bestie, Gigi Hadid, is so taken.
Striding through the gloomy corridors of the hotel, he attempts to channel Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey in a way that won’t scare off the tween fanbase.
Taylor, 27, gives an antiseptically sexy take on her Bad Blood persona. There’s the obligatory flash of hold-ups and a star turn by a black bra which accompanies her genteel states of undress. There is lots of forlorn gazing and thrashing around on a bed like a kid who’s had their iPad privileges revoked.
The timid slow-mo hotel-room trashing to finish the video is more reminiscent of teenagers who know their parents are just going to tell them to clean it up, than angsty lovers parted by fate. Or possibly the director didn’t want to pay for replacement lampshades.
This track is certainly an improvement on Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” the single from the previous movie.
Goulding seemed miscast and uncomfortable in the position of 50 Shades’ musical cheerleader. She is after all a singer so English that she was rumored to be dating Prince Harry. and performed at William and Kate’s wedding.
It remains to be seen whether the movie will match the success of the original, but the interest this video has generated in the run up to the premiere is surely a good sign for the continued adventures of Mr Grey on the big screen.
After what seems like a protracted period of relative silence from Ms Swift following her no-show at the Women’s March, this will surely presage her return to the breach.
One wonders what Gigi makes of Taylor’s stripping off alongside her boyfriend. But then, of course, since Gigi previously starred in Taylor’s then-boyfriend Calvin Harris’s video, “How Deep Is Your Love”.
When it comes to advancing the cause of career, all’s fair in love and video.