What do I love about this video?
I saw this nearly twenty years ago and had, as is standard operating procedure for me, many sequential and utterly incompatible yet turbulent and hurricane-force emotional reactions. Welcome to my world.
My first thought was: my god, they made that poor little girl look slutty! My second thought was: no, she doesn’t actually look slutty at all, she looks cute. She looks adorable, in fact. My third thought, and here we shall abandon this construction for lo, I am already bored with it, was that it was the trappings around her that could have come with Barfly Barbie, but that by putting this particular girl in there and having her sing this particular song in this particular way the video producers had played innocence against experience in a completely delightful way.
This is not what every 17-year-old should be doing; this is not what every 17-year-old should be wearing, nor where she should be wearing it. But because this is the 17-year-old Vanessa Paradis, wearing a body-skimming cocktail dress, tight enough to show she’s a woman and loose enough to show she’s a lady, dancing in a bar after closing and singing Coupe, Coupe, it is exactly right.
Only a Parisian teenager could wear that dress and a black leather biker jacket and not look like she had rolled a call girl or a trophy wife for her clothes. And only Vanessa Paradis could bop around with the camera doing tight closeups on her bum and still give off a wholesomely sexy Betty of And Veronica air (this was pre-lesbian chic, you understand).
This is, as one of the commenters on YouTube says, the very image of the perfect little rock star. She’s adorable, she’s sexy, she can carry a tune and dance sweetly, and she ended up with Johnny Fucking Depp.
Ah, if I’da known then…I’da got me one of them dresses too!