Lily Allen’s “Who’d Have Known” video is a love letter to Elton John. If Elton sends a letter back though, it may come in the form of a restraining order. As the clip progresses from mildly creepy – Lily caressing wall-sized Elton photos – to extremely creepy – Lily kidnapping him – one hopes Sir John will take all this in good humor. One also hopes it’s meant that way.
The confusion stems from the fact that Allen and John have, well, a bit of a history. While co-hosting last year’s GQ Men of the Year Awards, a visibly intoxicated Allen went off-script often enough to earn the famed Ire of Elton. The ensuing on-air exchange showed two pop stars at their most Gossip Girls-esq.
Allen: And now for the most important part of the night...
John: "What? Are you going to have another drink?
Allen: Fuck off, Elton! I am 40 years younger than you and have my whole life ahead of me!
John: I could still snort you under the table.
With all that erased from the public memory by the stars’ more recent missteps – Allen starting a blog attacking the very file sharers that made her famous, John recording a duet with Alice in Chains – bringing this all up again with a sordid video seems foolish. For Allen any publicity is good publicity though, and at least this time she seems in control of the situation.
To her credit, it is quite a video. Allen kidnaps John (played by an impersonator), forcing him to eat donuts, read cue cards professing his love for her and, in what seems the most cruel move, watch his own concert videos. The violent abduction provides a cheeky contrast to the lyrics, which describe the silly awkwardness of young love. When Allen sings, “Let’s just stay, let’s just stay / I want to lie in bed all day” next to a tied-to-a-chair Elton, the cute words take on a Silence of the Lambs perversity.
What remains unclear is whether Allen means this as playful apology or follow-up attack. Check out the video below and decide for yourself.
Verdict: 4/5 stars