I am *ahem* not a fan of Amazon, and I’m certainly not a fan of promoting its commercials — except when its staff does something extraordinary. Last weekend, I watched the Oscars with friends, and I was knocked out by a commercial which turns out to be directed by actress and up-and-coming film director Olivia Wilde. The commercial is called “Tache”; it apparently isn’t available to be embedded, but you can watch it here.
The young woman (or female-appearing person) in the one-minute film discovers a faint but noticeable mustache on her upper lip. We watch her think about shaving it off, and then think about people on the posters in her room who have mustaches, including Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. Frida Kahlo … and Freddie Mercury. So she goes to Amazon and buys an iconic Freddie Mercury yellow jacket. Then she proceeds to put on red lipstick and the jacket, and rock her school halls and classrooms with headphones, awesome dance moves, and the mustache.
The point of the commercial is that she can get the jacket quickly on Amazon Prime. The point of the film is that she finds a way to not just live with the mustache but make it into an advantage. The look on her face when she figures out what to do is priceless, and the very end of the film is a closeup of her lips, with lipstick and mustache.
Wilde has created a beautiful short-short story about body empowerment. Simultaneously, the film is a subtle but pointed comment on the current repulsive and deeply threatening attack on the slightest deviation from (nonexistent) rigid division of binary genders and gender characteristics.
So yes, I’m recommending that you watch an Amazon commercial. It won’t make me a Prime customer, but it has made me an Olivia Wilde fan.
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