It’s here, and it’s an early-2000’s masterpiece. Ariana Grande’s self-love anthem, “thank u, next” officially has a music video after being teased on social media for weeks. The video is an homage to four staple 2000-2004 films: “Mean Girls,” “Bring It On,” “13 Going on 30” and “Legally Blonde.”
Beginning with a montage of various celebrities (including real-life Aaron Samuels, Jonathan Bennett) discussing rumors about Ariana as if she were Plastics queen Regina George, the first “Mean Girls”-inspired part of the video features appearances from Troye Sivan, Colleen Ballinger, Liz Gillies and, yes, Kris Jenner as Mrs. George. While the Kris Jenner cameo steals the spotlight, be sure to keep an eye out for what Ariana writes about each of her exes in her Burn Book.
Moving into “Bring It On” territory, Ariana channels Torrance Shipman and introduces another Victorious co-star to the mix, with Matt Bennett as Cliff, brushing his teeth in the bathroom next to her. Squading up on the football field, the Toros are completed by a group of Ariana’s real-life friends and celebrities, once again including the very pregnant Colleen Ballinger, this time with full belly on display.
The briefest section of the video pays tribute to “13 Going on 30,” with Ariana perfectly encapsulating Jennifer Garner’s Jenna, complete with dollhouse and, in a new look for the pop star, short hair.
In one of the most detailed parts of the video, scenes from “Legally Blonde” such as Elle arriving at Harvard, Elle lounging on the lawn in a bikini top while boys play football around her and the iconic bend and snap are recreated. In a brief respite from the song itself, Ariana talks to real-life Paulette, Jennifer Coolidge, about an ex who, based on certain rumors, we can only deduce to be Pete Davidson.
Celebrities with ties to the movies themselves who were not directly involved in the music video, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner all praised the video on social media. Beyond just critical reception, the video did well for itself from a popularity standpoint, breaking the YouTube record for most views in 24 hours.
While the video serves as a heaping dose of early 2000’s nostalgia, the films chosen work perfectly with the song itself. “thank u, next,” a post-breakup anthem, when paired with the recreation of female-driven films, creates a clear message for its listeners about the importance of self-worth and self-love.