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It’s Sadie Hawkins Day season, and even if the sexist underpinnings of that celebration of gender-role-reversal have left the holiday passé, perhaps dating hasn’t come so far since the holiday’s heyday.
Take “I Want You (But I Don’t Need You)”, by Fairfax rock’n’rollers Cinema Hearts, for example. Like the rest of its Feels Like Forever debut, “I Want You” is heavy with post-war pop nostalgia, recalling doo-wop, surf rock, and Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” As she kisses-off a non-committal dude, singer-guitarist Caroline Weinroth delivers melodramatic vocals and springy guitar chords that would fit right in at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Back to the Future.
It’s that scene—and similar ones in Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Bye, Bye Birdie, and Hairspray—that inspired the video for “I Want You.” “I was a theater major in college and I acted in a lot of musicals in high school. I’ve always loved the energy, storytelling, and romance of musical theater,” Weinroth tells City Paper in an email. “They all have bright colors, dance scenes, and campy humor, so we added that all into our video.”
To pull it off, she called in favors both from her university’s theater department and her mom, who made the band’s matching silver suit jackets (“She’s very proud of how they look!”). And in her first lead role, her character musters the courage to ask out Johnny, only to receive a blow-off that we can only imagine high school-aged (and older) guys have been using since time immemorial: “You know I don’t like to put labels on things.”
No matter: Caroline keeps the sock-hop going with some Ronettes-inspired dance moves (which Weinroth choreographed herself) before taking center stage to pluck out a guitar solo, delivering a message to the Johnnys of the world: Women will be fine without them—on Sadie Hawkins Day or otherwise.