This song is obviously one of the best pop ballads ever, instantly identifiable from the first note, and a deeply pleasant earworm to find yourself belting out in the shower. And the video is of course indelible. OR IS IT?
… I mean, it is, because of the clay sculpture of Lionel’s noggin. But I hadn’t remembered the whole thing: Perhaps because I first saw this as a kid, I never internalized the super creepy detail that Lionel plays a teacher in love with his blind student. And it seems pretty obviously to be a high-school student, because while she looks older, there’s a whole scene where she’s at her locker:
The video seems to find all this longing deeply romantic, like when he stalks her through the school, or calls her and then just breathes into the phone. And then at the end, when we learn that the blind object of his affections is sculpting his likeness out of clay despite presumably never having touched his head to know what it looks like, we’re supposed to be… moved? YOU’RE HER TEACHER, PERV. SIT DOWN.
This could have been so easily solved by having the video be from a same-age kid’s point of view, as if Lionel is remembering an old crush, or is an all-knowing narrator. Fortunately, it’s still a perfect song, so there is only so much I can ruin for you today.