Rufus Wainwright, dapper dandy and San Francisco favorite, just released a music video for the title track of his forthcoming album, Out of the Game, which is slated for release April 23. The video features a prim and surprisingly ordinary (dare we say, boring and predictable) Helena Bonham Carter as a librarian who castigates a bevy of characters through pursed-lips, wagged fingers, and eye furrows.
The video is an obvious nod to literary pursuits -- each character stands as the virtual embodiment of the book they carry (or at least that's how Wainwright reads Valley of the Dolls). But to say that the video sums up to the old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover," is falling short.
Chalk full of the usual self-deprecation, Wainwright's video relies on Mrs. Tim Burton to carry the weight of his words, which laughingly and lovingly croon that even the holier than thou fall from grace once in awhile.
This isn't the first time a celebrity has been cast to mouth words written by other people -- it's a trend that has been with the music video since its inception. Aside from punctuating lyrical meaning, celebrity lip service serves to distract, humor, or even frighten us. Here are the top five best in music celebrity video lip syncs:
5. "Cry Baby," by Cee Lo Green
Before Jaleel White cried on Dancing with the Stars, he was cast as heartbreaker Cee Lo Green in this off-Disney production.
4. "Try to Sleep," by Low
John Stamos dons his best Cary Grant in this drippy and melancholic Sunday drive from hell.
3. "We Are All Made of Stars," by Moby
Los Angeles is a stage upon which dreams die, as evidenced by its bounty of unemployed actors; but here it stands to celebrate the not-so-fleeting nature of stardom. Featuring such herculean list of jumpers as Ron Jeremy, Tommy Lee, Kato Kaelin, and the late Gary Coleman, the video proves that even those who have had their moment in the sun still shine with the gleam of stardust.
2. "I Want Love," by Elton John
Robert Downey Jr.'s bouts with drug addiction, romantic trysts, and problems with the law all ring tragic and true to his character here: a man traversing the empty landscape of a structure he helped to vacate.
1. "You Can Call Me Al," by Paul Simon
A post-Fletch, pre-Community Chevy Chase stars in this Paul Simon hit--the first single released from Simon's prestigious Graceland album from 1986. Goofy and dated, the video stands as a perfect example of why celebrities still appear in music videos: "I need a photo opportunity," Chase mouths, "I want a shot at redemption."