“thank u, next” is the song Ariana Grande -- and her fans -- needed. At once melancholy, powerful and feminist, the lyrics talk about how to move on from relationships in a way that’s both healing and strengthening. If anyone needs a crutch in the form of an empowering song, it’s Grande; as Ellen Degeneres said on an episode of her show, Grande’s “had a rough year,” given the passing of her ex-boyfriend and rapper Mac Miller and recent quickie engagement-turned-breakup with Pete Davidson.
Although Grande should be, you know, taking some time off, instead she’s planning a tour, filming music videos and making appearances. Hence this “Ellen” performance that’s not only perfect in the fact that it’s imperfect (Grande nearly falls off a chair, loses her place in the song a few times and both giggles and tears up throughout the lines), but that’s nearly identical to the “You Don’t Own Me” performance from “The First Wives Club.”
You remember this film. Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn play spurned wives who seek revenge on their ex-husbands for leaving them for younger women, but end up switching gears and using their blackmail to create a crisis center for women instead.
Not that Grande is necessarily a woman scorned, or relates specifically to any of the nearly batsh*t crazy women from “The First Wives Club.” Nevertheless, the messages of the two songs align fairly well. Both carry a “love yourself, men ain’t sh*t” message for women at low points of their lives. Grande chose her inspo well.
Down to throwing on jackets and jumping on a chair to swing her hips around, Grande and two of her backup singers did the First Wives justice.
It's a film that Grande's said is one of her favorites, and one that she's found solace in lately. In one of her Instagram stories from earlier in the week when “thank u, next” first dropped, she was watching the scene of the film where the three ladies are on a window-washer rig and drop a bunch of stories, screaming for their lives; Grande had captioned the video equating it to how her life has felt lately. Her humor, then, is still perfectly intact.
The movie is actually getting rebooted as a TV series, too, with one of the new First Wives being named Ari. Cute, right?
Now we’d like to see Midler, Keaton and Hawn pull off a rendition of Grande’s “Side to Side” music video.
Your move, ladies.