We need to talk about a music video. Not just any music video, but a Mandy Moore music video. And that music video is the music video for “So Real.” When the third single off of 1999 album So Real dropped, the music video did not appear on MTV or Vh1 (the music video wasn't released in the United States). Therefore, I did not know the music video existed. It wasn't until a few years later that I finally saw the light: Not only did I find out a "So Real" music video exists, but I quickly realized that it's Mandy Moore's best video.
No, it isn’t a late turn-of-the-Millennium pop listsicle staple like “Candy." No, there aren't any enviable hair poofs. No, Mandy doesn't fall through a floor only to land safely in her bed. And no, it doesn't feature clips from a beloved ballet movie. But do you know what "So Real" does have going for it? Triple barrel crimped hair and a magical forest, that's what.
The "So Real" vid, which was directed by Gregory Dark (See No Evil, Britney Spears’s “From The Bottom of My Broken Heart,” Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer”), places our heroine in an enchanted woodland area. The flowers are art supplies, the trees are portals, the journals are winged insects, and the sprites know only the finest early aughts dance moves. It really is an incomparable masterpiece.
If you have yet to watch this music video, here's what you've been missing out on:
1. The Moment When Mandy Is Like “Whew, That’s Enough Journaling For Today”
"One sentence down. Time to go ice my hand."
2. The Moment When Mandy’s Diary Morphs Into A Butterfly
3. The Moment When Mandy’s Butterfly Diary Is Like "L8R SK8R"
Why are you just sitting there, Mandy? You should try to stop that butterfly! It's flying away with all of your secrets! It's going tell everyone about that one sentence you jotted down! Don't let it get away!
4. The Moment When Mandy Casts A Spell On The Butterfly Diary
Do what you must to protect your secrets, Mandy.
5. The Moment When The Butterfly Diary Leads Mandy To A Portal
Will she follow the butterfly diary? Or will she chicken out and go back to her boring ol' picnic blanket?
6. The Moment When Mandy Makes The Right Choice
Atta gal, Mandy.
7. The Moment When Mandy Gets A Fresh Outfit
Love the triple barrel crimp, love the cross front shawl, love this look.
8. The Moment When Mandy Lets Us Know That Her Shawl Isn’t Quite Warm Enough
Hey, style comes at a cost. And sometimes, that cost is frostbite.
9. The Moment When A Flower Turns Into A Magic Wand
Just when I thought things couldn't get more interesting, Mandy uses a flower to conjure up a Greek temple.
10. The Moment When A Group Of Backup Dancers/Forest Sprites Appear
The forest sprites roll up to the enchanted party wearing their best "Genie In A Bottle" orange pants, of course.
11. The Moment When The Forest Sprites Let Us Know They Mean Business
12. The Moment When Mandy Strikes This Pose On A Tree
All the world's a stage, all the enchanted forest's an editorial photo shoot.
13. The Moment When Mandy Sighs A Disappointed Sigh
Sorry Mandy, but all good things must come to an end. And yes, that goes for enchanted butterfly journal forest flower paintbrush shawl adventures.
14. The Moment When This Scene Transition Happens
Now THAT is how you move from one scene to another. Take note, PowerPoint.
Such a shame this video never got to be on Total Request Live. *Shakes triple barrel curling iron at monitor.* It could've ruled TRL, I tell ya. RULED.
Image: MandyMooreVEVO/YouTube (15); Kristie Rohwedder/Bustle (14)