A few years ago, I saw a commercial for a car company. If I remember right, it starts with a beautiful, statuesque woman coming out of building -her apartment maybe- dressed to the nines. Followed closely behind is a sort nebbish man. The camera follows the woman who stops at the curb, awaiting her gentleman to open the car door for her. It's nice car, some sort of luxury one. A car, maybe, that this stylish woman belongs in -at least in her mind.
When nothing happens, the guy does not open the door for her, she looks to her left and notices that he has gone to another car that is parked behind the nicer one. Yes, the car the man is driving is not a luxury one, or a new one or as nice as the one parked in front of him.
While it was a car commercial, the real gist of the ad was if you don't drive this car, then don't expect to date a stylish, beautiful, statutesque woman. And it bothered me, because while some just saw -perhaps- a funny car ad, what I saw was something else: the continued psychology of advertising that puts material objects first in any persons mind; the idea that if you have the nice phone, the great looking car, the most trendiest of clothes, that you'll be accepted into whatever version of the world you think is important.
Now take this ad
There is something wrong with the narrative of this three and half minute story.
It seems Marco wants to take the next step in his relationship by giving his girlfriend a key to his loft. No problem there. But as soon as she sees it (btw, is this the first time she's ever been there? How long have they been dating, 6 months, a year, a week?), she seems disappointed. He still stuck, as the story implies, in bachelor mode. And instead of talking about it, she leaves in the middle of the night after the implication they had sex. Again, I ask, how long have they been dating? Because her slipping out before dawn seems to imply they are just still "feeling each other out mode."
As the door closes, Marco looks around his place and thinks (for the first time), hey maybe I need to spruce up the place because my girlfriends implied silence says I'm a loser.
So, we're off to the furniture store to buy some high-end stuff. JVB Interiors is their name, and according to the Youtube description, designer Damien Beck says "I believe an environment of beauty and style, from clothes to music to architecture to furnishings all contribute to the experience of a deeper, more rich experience for a couple in love."
Okay, a little too hipster, but I'll give him that.
The description continues: "The short which highlights the tension between a westside girl, Grace, played by young Hollywood starlet Brianne Davis, (Jarhead, Prom Night), and her latin lover city boy, played by Daniel Gradias (Bunim Murray Productions). In just under three and a half minutes, the film pokes fun at Grace's reaction to the gritty rough and tumble, yet uber hip loft that Marco occupies, and the transformation that a home takes when a relationship moves to the next step, and when it finds the help of JVB designer Simon, played by Anand Desai-Barochia."
Now one is also to assume that Marco must have money, as he lives in a loft (really, a loft? What is this, 1974?). After a quick trip to JVB, Marco has decked out his loft in thousands of dollars (and I mean a second mortgage on your house to pay for it all) worth of furniture, pictures and other "art." In what appears to be just happen in 24 hours.
Then we cut to Grace sitting on some stairs -her's or Marco's?- with a glass of white wine and dressed in a black evening gown. If she's at Marco's, where did the wine come from, and where did it go when the next shot has her in an elevator holding the key to Marco's apartment -it's also on a cue ball (how tacky she must be thinking).
She also carries a frown on her face, like she's wrestling with something -world politics, the rising healthcare costs or why she does not hang with other one percenter's?
She opens the door to Marco's place and see all the expensive stuff and smiles. Yep, her boy finally got her unspoken message, update you're place or I'm not dating you.
This whole thing is about materialism and not about love. The unspoken -which seems to the problem with Grace and Marco's relationship- is that these objects, these pieces of furniture, those pictures that glass sculpture that looks like the T 1000 melting, is what makes a couple love each other.
Marco is attractive -we get a few shirtless scenes- but he could do so much better than the bottle blond who puts that type of materialism over true love. The fact that she blond's her hair speaks volumes of how she values her self-worth. Maybe blond do have more fun, but sometimes it turns them into ugly people.
Love is not about the exterior of a person, but what beats in the chest -the heart. Grace decided that love was about objects and Marco apparently is willing to spend the next 20 years paying off bill to furnish is loft so some girl with let him, you know, screw her.