If life truly begins at 30, someone forgot to tell Lily Allen. In the clip for “22,” she plays a young party girl who is about to turn 30 and the future looks pretty bleak.
Competing with cuter, younger, tighter 22-year-olds for men at nightclubs and in a dead-end job, all the protagonist hears is the steady drum beat of time ticking away, getting louder and louder with every desperate night that passes and she still hasn’t married. It is all played out in a women’s bathroom during a night out.
As Allen’s lilting voice (over deceptively upbeat music) reminds us, “It’s sad but true how society says her life is already over/until the man of her dreams comes along, picks her up and put her over his shoulder.” Look for the part where dancing with a fella in the men’s bathroom symbolizes another one-night stand that leads nowhere. Very subtle.
It’s a nightly scene playing itself out nightly the world over, but Allen’s sweet, vulnerable vocals and this poignant video bring it home in a refreshing way.