Kelly Clarkson - Because of You (2005)
First season "American Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson's new power ballad is a serious made-for-Lifetime estrogen fest. Scarred as a little girl - what, like eight years ago? - by witnessing her mom's romantic anguish and abuse, the song's protagonist has grown up to be a shell of a woman. ("I watched you die / I heard you cry every night in your sleep / I was so young / You should have known better than to lean on me.") She's so messed up she's picking godawful songs to record and release as singles. Domestic abuse sure is a bitch.
And, obviously, we're not treated to a video so tongue-in-cheek self-referential as to cast mean "Idol" judge Simon Cowell as the flashback daddy. No, this is transparent, heavy-handed shit, and it's totally meant to be taken seriously. Clarkson is in a fight with her boyfriend, who takes a framed portrait of the two of them and rears back to hit her with it. But the moment freeze-frames, and Clarkson steps back from the situation, literally - she spends the rest of the verse backing up while singing into the camera, which moves along with her. Clever, director Vadim Perelman, clever.
Clarkson eventually ends up side by side with her childhood counterpart while watching Mom pop pills and act depressed and watching Dad pack his suitcase and back the car out of the driveway For Good. There's even a cliche-drama moment where Dad flips over the coffee table during an argument and storms upstairs with Mom running after him. The song builds to a cacaphonous climax (it surprises me not to learn "Because of You" was written by former band members of Evanescence) while a second-unit Clarkson emotes from a black soundstage. Oh, the delicious fucking anguish.