I. Love. Annie. Lennox.
But lest you think I’m going to go soft on her 1992 video “Walking on Broken Glass” out of love, you will be mistaken. After all, it is Snark Week, and our mandate here at Frock Flicks is to take no prisoners, no holds barred. And by God, this video delivers all the cheese you can possibly handle in 3 minutes and 58 seconds and leaves you wondering “WTF did I just watch?”
The video was directed by Sophie Muller, who had directed Lennox’s award-winning video “Why,” as well as pretty much every music video associated with Annie’s 1992 album, Diva. Wikipedia claims that the inspiration for the video was Dangerous Liaisons, but the fact it’s set in the 18th century, and that John Malkovich appears as the lover who jilted Annie is pretty much as far as the association goes. Hugh Laurie inexplicably co-stars as Annie’s new lover, allegedly reprising his role as Prince George from Blackadder III, attempting to unsuccessfully woo Annie while she has a meltdown over Malkovich showing up to the party with some bimbo in a bad wig.
And there are plenty of bad wigs on view here. But what perplexes me is that the choice was made to wrap Annie’s head in a towel. A TOWEL. Like she’d just stepped out of a shower and was like, “Welp, fuck it, I’m wearing the towel to the ball because I haven’t got time for a shitty wig.” We’ve all been there, right? However, we put the shitty wig on and a giant fucking tiara and march into the party and drink all the champagne to numb the pain of all the crap on our heads LIKE A PRO. Annie, however, sticks with the towel, which somehow or another, is apparently supposed to be Turkish? I guess? Because if it’s in the 18th century, and it’s WTF, it must be Turkish? Whatever.
So, some shit is about to go down, because everyone is looking at her, silently judging her. Maybe it’s the towel?
But Georgie seems oblivious to the fact that his girlfriend is about to throw down. Or throw up. Not sure yet.
The camera cuts to random courtiers milling around before it settles back on Annie looking like she’s been bathing in the blood of virgins and forgot to ditch the towel afterward…
That’s when Annie sees him.
HIM. WITH HER.
THAT SON OF A BITCH, HOW DARE HE BRING HER TO MY PARTY??
The camera returns to the newlyweds for some creepy public canoodling.
And we are treated to a nice, big close-up of John Malkovich rocking some pretty inappropriate facial hair. Like, it would have killed him to shave for this video?
Then comes the creepy necking!
Now we see that John Malkovich was Annie’s former lover, and he’s jilted her for this new bimbo! Annie grabs the first drink that comes her way and downs it in one gulp.
Prince George, meanwhile, is slowly having doubts. Or he could be realizing it’s his valet that’s been pinching his socks all along.
Annie has had just about all she can handle and is now ready to tell Malkovich exactly what she thinks of him.
Awkward grappling commences.
And now it’s the stuff of nightmares:
Finally, we are treated to the one full-body shot of Annie’s gown. From above, naturally, so we can’t make out any real details.
I think the moral of the story here is you can be a hot mess wearing a red towel on your head at a fancy party with the Prince of Wales and still wind up with the creepy guy with the misguided facial hair in the end. Or, as I like to think of it, when you’re the diva, you wear the fucking towel and ROCK IT because FUCK YOU, HATERZ.
In closing, you should definitely check out Recycled Movie Costumes, since a couple of the costumes in this video have appeared elsewhere, including the suit John Malkovich wears. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the suits he wore in Dangerous Liaisons. Also not surprisingly, many of the costumes worn by the extras were also worn in Dangerous Liaisons:
I’m also 99% sure that The Bride’s gown is the same as Swoosie Kurtz’s opera gown in Dangerous Liaisons:
Which makes me wonder if Annie’s red gown is also from Dangerous Liaisons… If anyone can pin point it, hollar in the comments!