Trying on clothes, shooting hoops, stealing cabs, being a tease – those are Avril Lavigne’s favorite pastimes according to her new video for “What The Hell”, which just leaked via China (the characters you’ll see periodically throughout the video are not just an artsy touch). Thankfully, the boisterous Avril has more energy here than would you’d expect from her stone-faced single sleeve, and the song is just as catchy as it was on its perfectly purple New Year’s Eve debut. But how the hell is the video? See for yourself right here.
Once upon a time, Avril informed us that she did not, in fact, have much of an affinity for our girlfriend, and now it appears she does not like her own boyfriend, either. (Maybe ‘cause he’s not a Sk8er?) But rather than break up with the guy, the Canadian divorcee would rather let him stalk her through retail stores, basketball courts, and the streets of LA all the way to a concert. (Never mind that the two aren’t exactly a very convincing item — this is a music video, after all.)
The apparently three-dimensional vid is a somwhat odd mix of genuinely bad behavior (grand theft auto) and stuff that wouldn’t even get preteen Willow Smith sent to her room. (Maybe she didn’t get a permit to throw a concert in that location? That must be at least a misdemeanor.) And it’s a little jarring to see the video begin with scantily clad Avril rolling around in bed with a guy in a very adult way, then devolve into bratty behavior more befitting a twelve year old. It’s perfectly fine if Avril would rather make music that appeals to a younger crowd than act her age — but if so, perhaps she should leave her clothes on?
Besides, it’s pretty hard to be truly naughty when you’re so busy shilling your own merchandise, which is precisely what Avril spends most of the video doing. (Unless her fragrances are extremely weak, does she really need to spritz herself with both perfumes?) It’s a little too obvious that the trying-on-clothes scene exists only to a feature a big ol’ closeup of the words “Abbey Dawn”, held so long that we have time to shop online for a few outfits before it cuts away. (Nice to see a cameo from Avril’s mom, though!)
Minus the awkward, painfully long shots of a cell phone and a clothing label that have no purpose otherwise, the video is kinda fun, but probably doesn’t warrant the sprawling three-day shooting schedule. But given how distracting the product placement is, it’s hard to buy anything else that happens in the video — especially that this guy would even bother chasing Avril down after all her obnoxious behavior, reeking of various perfumes. A more realistic ending would have the guy calling the cops and having the little floozy carted off to jail for that taxi-thieving felony, but what the hell.
We still love you, Avril, but next time, hawk your wares at the proper place and time, okay? Isn’t that what (bad) commercials are for?