15 supremely cinematic music videos that could (and should) be feature films

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“Everytime” – Britney Spears

“Everytime” was also a bit of a departure for Britney Spears, the way “Cool” was for Gwen Stefani. Spears was known for her brand of teen pop, then grew into sexy dance hits with extensive choreography to go along with them. But when she released “Everytime” from her 2003 studio album In The Zone, fans got to see a more vulnerable side to the misunderstood pop princess.

At the time, the singer was hounded by paparazzi, though little did she know that was just the beginning. The music video opens up with a bird’s eye view of Las Vegas, then Spears and her date arriving at their hotel in a limo, surrounded by fans, photographers, and security. Spears has to fight through the hoards of people to get in and she gets mad at her boyfriend when he flips out on one of the photographers. The two continue fighting when they get to her hotel room.

The couple is shouting and shoving; vases are thrown; it’s a mess. Spears escapes to the bathroom to relax in a bath, but then notices she’s bleeding from the back of her head. She slowly slips under the water, then we see her running down a bright, white hallway. We get the idea that she’s heading towards heaven, and we see her walking through a hospital where her lifeless body is being revived. Back in the hotel room, her boyfriend finds her in the tub and jumps in to try and resuscitate her before she’s rushed away in a stretcher. The video ends with a baby being born — a new life being brought into the world — before Britney emerges from the water, alive and well.

The music video mustered up some controversy, but not nearly as much as the original concept. Before its release, the original treatment for the video was leaked online. It portrayed Spears as the star hounded by the paparazzi (like her real life) who later kills herself by taking a bunch of pills and drowning in the bathtub. When the news broke, critics were quick to condemn the concept for being irresponsible, especially considering how young her fanbase was at the time. It was later changed to the ambiguous bathtub head bleeding scene that appeared in the final cut.