The best revenge is wedding well.
At least that’s what Beyonce would have you believing in her believably self-satisfied music video to “Best Thing I Never Had.” This tiny fiction features Mrs. Jay-Z marrying somebody other than Jay-Z and taunting her douchebag high school ex-boyfriend by looking really, really hot.
About half of the clip has Bey traipsing around in nuptial lingerie, touching herself with a soft white rose and basically posing all the way boys imagine Victoria’s Secret models do when nobody’s “looking.”
Then, it’s my favorite part of weddings: when brides hurtle themselves downhill on golf courses at high speeds so as to indicate their enthusiasm for marriage. After the veil’s lifted and rings are exchanged, it’s party time, where Beyonce continues her trend of dancing with little kids, because that never gets less wholesomely cute. It’s a reception culled straight from the sample photo in the picture frame. All that seems to be missing are fireworks, a bald eagle and cupcakes from Magnolia.
Interspersed are “old” videos from Bey’s late-’90s prom, where her prom king acts like a royal jerk by checking out other girls at the dance. In other words, “You showed your a** and I saw the real you” as Beyonce explains in one of three lyrical faux pas of this near-perfect pop song. (The other two being “boo-hoo” and the repeated refrain tag “sucks to be you right now,” because Beyonce is apparently a 14-year-old.) “You don’t deserve my tears,” she continues… but her ex-lover apparently deserves a good eyeful of her near-naked body.
And while the song lyrically does not directly address it, this video is a reiteration of a mega-theme in Beyonce’s musical and recent personal history: that the ultimate end-goal, the big “get” in romance, is to put a ring on it. Say what you want about the conclusion, but it’s certainly going to play beautifully with Queen B’s audience, all this swishing around.
“Best Thing I Never Had” is the follow-up single to “Run the World (Girls),” both from her recent No. 1 album “4.” I actually quite enjoy “Girls” — the song and the video — and while I understand this video is a softer top 40/adult top 40 nod in the opposite direction of that track’s hard angles, it feels underdone and dull. Bey’s flawless facial expressions aren’t enough to fill in the gaps of this single-dimensional fairy tale.
Do you like the video?