Olivia Rodrigo’s New Music Video Is Packed Full Of References To The Meanest Girls In Cinema
Did you spot them all?
First, there was ‘drivers licence’, then ‘deja vu’, and now ‘good 4 u’. It seems that Olivia Rodrigo, the Disney star turned indie-pop sensation, can do no wrong.
Such is the case for her latest single, ‘good 4 u’. The song is completely addictive — and it comes accompanied by a video that is packed to the brim with movie and music video references. Eagle-eyed fans have spent the last day poring over the video on Twitter trying to identify them all, and so have we. Without further ado, here’s your breakdown.
cinematic references in Olivia Rodrigo's Good 4 U
Audition (1999, dir. Takashi Miike)
The Princess Diaries (2001, dir. Garry Marshall)
Jennifer's Body (2009, dir. Karyn Kusama) pic.twitter.com/prDS6q4sDi
— Wendell Chalamet (@RhodeToLove) May 17, 2021
The ‘good 4 u’ opening takes inspiration from the 1999 Japanese cult thriller, Audition. Directed by Takashi Miike, the film begins with a widower auditioning women to date him under the false pretence they’re auditioning for a play. The man is enchanted by a woman called Asami and chooses her to be his next wife. But as the film unravels it’s revealed Asami is not as perfect as she seems.
Rodrigo’s long gloves she dons later in the video as she buys arson supplies also evoke Asami’s costume from Audition worn when she tortures her lover. The lyrics also play with the idea of Rodrigo being the ‘crazy’ ex (“Like a damn sociopath / I’ve lost my mind”). But it’s pretty badass of her to take that idea and run with it by referencing a classic horror about a scorned crazy woman.
good 4 u (2021) // audition (1999) pic.twitter.com/CpYdlVfABp
— harry 🪐 exam week (@fairyboyo) May 14, 2021
The Princess Diaries
To the untrained eye, the cheer-leading uniform Rodrigo wears for most of the video might seem like just a standard cheer uniform. However, it’s actually identical to the one Mandy Moore’s mean girl character, Lana, wears in The Princess Diaries. The outfit choice is likely yet another way Rodrigo is casting herself in the role her critics say she is as the mean girl ex.
But as one Twitter user pointed out, the boy Lana (Mandy Moore) and Mia (Anne Hathaway) fight over in The Princess Diaries is called Josh. If you don’t know, Rodrigo’s ex who she’s singing about is her High School Musical co-star, Joshua Bassett.
i was thinking….everyone was saying the cheerleading outfit liv wears in the good 4 u video is like the one mandy moore wears in the princess diaries and i was like hmm why would she do that and THEN I REMEMBERED THAT MEAN BOY IN THE MOVIE WAS NAMED JOSH pic.twitter.com/s5QAsYJbsV
— jessica (@enchantedjess13) May 14, 2021
I am starting to suspect Miss Rodrigo shares many of the same favourite movies as me. The last moments of ‘good 4 u’ sees Rodrigo taking a refreshing swim in a lake, evoking one of the most iconic visuals in Jennifer’s Body.
Rodrigo also channels her inner Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) as she self-obsesses over her reflection in mirrors and in phone screens. One could even argue that the long gloves she wears aren’t only an audition reference, but also a reference to Jennifer’s final prom fit in Jennifer’s Body.
i love how good 4 u not only referenced jennifer's body, but modernised it 👏 pic.twitter.com/gQdcnOvvTF
— claire (@oliviatrivago) May 16, 2021
Also…Taylor Swift Music Videos
Olivia Rodrigo has always been a huge Swiftie and never has it been more obvious. The ‘good 4 u’ video is soaked in references to Taylor Swift’s music videos for ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Picture to Burn’.
Echoes of ‘Picture to Burn’ blaze in the video’s final sequence where Rodrigo sets ex’s house alight and it burns behind her. Meanwhile, Rodrigo’s parodying of the image of her as the crazed ex screams ‘Blank Space’ vibes.
olivia rodrigo 🤝 taylor swift
playing the role the media portrays them as in their music videos pic.twitter.com/OKR8ujP8yI
— david (@olivialivies) May 14, 2021
📝| 'Insider' new article describes the subtle references that 'good 4 u' has with 'Picture To Burn'
"Both videos make use of fire to symbolize revenge and starting over.
Rodrigo previously told..that 'Picture to Burn'…was her 'first-ever favorite song'." pic.twitter.com/NEX3h9gInT
— The Swift Society (Taylor’s Version) (@TheSwiftSociety) May 16, 2021
Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, Sour comes out later this month. Honestly, I cannot wait.
Merryana Salem (she/they) is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian writer, critic, teacher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out their podcast, GayV Club where they gush about LGBTIQ rep in media. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.