Love gone lost

I've been putting off this post for a few days now. But, alas, I cannot put it off any longer. I'm breaking things off.

I've never really been able to distinguish the actress from the person all too well because it seemed like there was so much that bled through between the two. Her wry, cynical wit seemed so organic; to borrow from Paul Rudd in "Role Models," it seemed like she was someone who hated all the same things I hated. But now it's pretty apparent that she can't distinguish between the two anymore either. To figure out what I'm talking about, scope this new video from her music joint with a very dapper, Robert Downey Jr.-looking M. Ward:

What bothers me is how campy it is. Believe me, I can enjoy campy, but it makes her usual persona seem forced, even trite. The updated, innocent Britney Spears allusion aligns itself pretty clearly with what we've come to appreciate her as, but her dance routines come off as overly contrived. For the first time, she's removed herself from her role by making it a blatant performance. Things aren't natural, they're scripted. Her personality is divorced from her persona, at least insofar as her acting is purposive, deliberate. And so when she meanders around a bit as if her mind is all aflutter while walking away from the camera at the end, she's doing so consciously. Each hop and skip is meticulously scripted to reinforce an image that thrived on its unscripted appearance. Her natural allure of innocent, even unintentional irreverence is no longer innocent nor unintentional. I don't know, maybe she's being a little too expressive, and maybe that's where I'm having a problem. But it's not as if she's merely overacting. She's abusing her role to manipulate her reception.

Musically speaking, this track is about what we should expect from She & Him. It doesn't sound as much like she recorded her vocals in a kitchen, but Ward's composition is sharp as always and they don't lose much by amping up the production. But that's mostly a testament to Ward's music. However bright a well-produced She & Him track may be, the fact that she sounds removed from the kitchen does take away some of the familiarity. It's the same problem she has with her acting in the video. She blurs the line between the actress and the person to the point where here—in a musical outing that should include exclusively the person—she's implanted seeds of the actress. Put simply, it's a song (and a person) we can appreciate, but probably not one we can fall in love with.

And yes, I did just write an entire break-up post about Zooey Deschanel without using her name once. That's what heartbroken means.


  1. wow. i'm here to talk, buddy. ya know, help you get through these hard times.

  2. I was so confused when you didn't use her name. I thought there was going to be a twist ending and the whole post was going to be about Betty White.