Ariana Grande Evokes ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ in ‘We Can’t Be Friends’ Music Video

Evan Peters costars in the mini-remake, which also references “Sixteen Candles”

Ariana Grande’s music video for the second single off of her new album “Eternal Sunshine,” both of which were released Friday, further solidifies the inspiration Grande took from mind-trip romance classic “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

In the video, Grande stars as Peaches, who sits in the waiting room of Brighter Days Inc. and fills out release paperwork to have the memories of her ex (played by Evan Peters) erased from her mind.

As Peaches gets set up with futuristic equipment to zap her brain clear of memories of Evan Peters, we see those memories flashing her back to happier moments spent with him — like when he won her a teddy bear in an arcade, they cuddled under bed sheets, made snow angels and kissed over candles on a birthday cake.

Evan Peters and Ariana Grande in the music video for "We Can't Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)"
Evan Peters and Ariana Grande in the music video for “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)”

The snow angel scene mimics an iconic scene from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” imagery also used in the poster showing which Carrey and Winslet laying above cracking ice. Watch the “Eternal Sunshine” scene here:

The birthday cake scene pays homage to John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles” and its romantic conclusion, starring Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker and Michael Schoeffling as Jake Ryan.

In Charlie Kaufman’s script for the light science-fiction film, directed by Michel Gondry, Carrey’s Joel Barish discovers that his ex-girlfriend Clementine Kruczynski (Winslet) has undergone a procedure to have her memories of him erased via the Lacuna company. Barish then undergoes the same process, but records a tape of his memories before doing so.

Peters’ character isn’t shown doing the same procedure, but he and Grande do walk past each other at the end of the video — both with other newer partners, it seems. They don’t acknowledge each other.

“We Can’t Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)” follows Grande’s first single from her seventh LP, “yes, and?” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


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