The utter nightmare of this week could only end one way: a little bit of kitsch, an overflowing glass of champagne, two beautiful people in a beautiful hotel saying absolutely nothing that makes any sense. Luckily, you can find all that and more in the music video for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” Zayn and Taylor Swift’s collaborative contribution to the upcoming Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
The video starts with Zayn Malik exiting an old-timey limo in the rain and stepping into the protection of an umbrella carried by a manservant in an elegant suit. He does not really trouble himself to open his mouth when he's supposed to be lip-syncing. Elsewhere, Taylor Swift is wandering the halls of a luxury hotel in PG lingerie and a black trench coat, saying over and over “I’ve been looking sad in all the nicest places.” They’re each beautiful, and so sad about ... something. Zayn breaks a lamp! And an ottoman! The pair thrashes around mostly in separate rooms, plucking petals off of white roses and looking wistfully at fistfuls of polaroids.
The song was Swift’s first in over two years when it was released this past December, and this marks her first video debut since she released “Out of the Woods” in December 2015. There are rumors swirling that her next album will be infused with rap and R&B elements, which should be interesting for everyone.
Some might have hoped this video would be even weirder than it is, considering the fact that Malik and Swift playing romantic leads is sort of a scandalous proposition — she used to date his ex-bandmate Harry Styles and ostensibly wrote most of her pop debut 1989 about him. Malik had a public falling out with the other members of One Direction after he left the group two years ago, though they seem to have since patched things up. Also he’s currently dating one of Swift’s closest friends, model Gigi Hadid. The web of love and lust and friendship among America’s beautiful, young celebs is very confusing, but a useful distraction should you need one right now.