Random thoughts I had while watching Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You an essay by Jay Taylor
Calling this a documentary seems generous if not downright false. It’s 90% concert footage, 5% rehearsal, and 5% nonsense. You won’t get to know the girl behind the music, you’ll just get a better than average view of her Sweetener World Tour for a fraction of the price.
First song: God Is A Woman, or, if the staging is to be believed, Ariana is the woman who is God, or at the very least Christ, seeing how she’s got the seat of honour at a table that looks very last suppery. Although if the lyrics are to be believed, Ariana is God because she’s good at sex. Turns out, Ariana isn’t very good at songwriting – and she had 4 other grown ups help her with such gems as “We can make it last, take it slow, hmm.”
Confession that’s probably already obvious: I’m not a fan. I’m not not a fan. I’m not a hater. I’m just not a fan. I recognized a couple of the songs because I’m a human of Earth, but I never thought any of them great and now I’m convinced they’re pretty bad.
Also pretty bad: Scooter Braun. You know, the evil man who tried to shit all over Taylor Swift? Him. He’s still Ariana’s manager, and she’s so unashamed of this he features in this “documentary” more than once. Sean and I both booed him at the exact same time. We may not know much about Ms. Grande but we do know that there is only one right stance to have about Scooter Braun and that’s against. I’m disappointed in Ariana; it’s a total violation of girl code, of good person code, and though I don’t expect much of her, this is still a pretty shitty thing.
This never occurred to me before, but are there no atheists in pop music? Literally every film of concert footage has a prayer circle before each performance with hand holding and out-loud prayers for a good show. Most work places are super duper not allowed to force their employees to pray for show, but pop star world tours seem to be some sort of exception because that shit does not look voluntary at all.
Sean commented about how 88% of people in the doc are billed as Ariana’s “best friend” but that’s literally the only thing about the “movie” that didn’t bother me. Like Mindy Lahiri once said, “A best friend isn’t a person, it’s a tier.” Although, I will say there are a suspicious amount of “best friends” on the payroll; how “best” is this “friend” if you have to pay them?
Speaking of which: mom Joan is a chronic hanger-on herself. Ariana Grande is 27 years old. I’m not sure at which age exactly that becomes creepy, but it was before 27, even if you’re not gyrating in PVC while singing about your sex being god-like. NOT CREEPY AT ALL.
Anyway: is there any personality underneath that high pony? Unknown. There’s nothing new or illuminating or interesting here, just definitely-seen-before pieces of her already dated world tour. It’s a 1 hour, 37 minute commercial for Ariana Grande who must be, if nothing else, pretty savvy about marketing herself – especially since the day this doc hit Netflix just happens to also be the day she announced her most recent engagement.
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