It occurred to me on reviewing it today just how very effectively it conveys masculinity and femininity. It is practically a human “nature film” showing what my wife recently referred to as human “courting patterns”.
Look at the couple interacting on the beach. Notice how the girl displays healthy vigour and some, but not excessive, athleticism. She lets him catch her and swing her around. She also – oopsie! – lets the strap on her swimsuit fall down briefly. Later, he lifts her up and swings her around, displaying male strength, and she lets her head fall back, displaying her neck in a primal gesture of trust and submission. Finally he pushes her back forcefully, allowing her to demonstrate her young woman’s flexibility.
Mating cues and fitness cues everywhere.To David's analysis, I'd like to add some of my own nuance. While I completely concur with my friend David that the video is littered with fitness cues and mating behaviors, other facets present themselves as well. One such facet is what I call the "female display-male demonstration-female acceptance" dynamic. Oversimplifying greatly, this 1-2-3 dynamic starts with a female display of beauty.* The male responds with a demonstration of fitness (physical, social dominance, resource fitness, etc). Then the female accepts or declines the choice based on the male's demonstration. This dynamic is exemplified in the video with the scene contrasting a girl's hot fling with the fit, alpha guy on the beach, with her (in a scene of intimate vulnerability at 2:33) mentally mulling her mating options--i.e., hot alpha vs loyal delta--while laying on a bed.
Another facet is presented not in the video itself, but by the lyrics of the song, which make it clear that the nice, delta guy just got benched by the woman he was courting after the arrival of a hot alpha:
I'm driving by your houseThese lyrics are sung to the backdrop of "boys of summer" fitness demonstrations (2:43), delta frustration and hurt (2:49), and delta realization his prematurely-yet-seriously-offered commitment did not match her own (3:12).
Though I know you're not home
But I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your
Sunglasses on baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer, have gone
Now I don't understand
What happened to our love
But babe I'm gonna get you back
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of
Out on the road today
I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
"Don't look back, you can never look back"
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
The way out of this borderline gamma pining, over a 'love' more eros than agape, is suggested by the lyric "don't look back" in the text quoted above. David mentioned fitness cues above...it is also a fitness cue, a negative one, to hang on, to agonize after a woman who has chosen another over yourself. Happily for our spurned delta, the video concludes with him making his choice to move on (4:21) and leave the flighty, commitment-phobic female to her choice.
* Human females are unique in the animal world in that it is they who show reproductive fitness through displays of beautiful plumage, acoutrements, and strategic partial nudity. In the animal kingdom, this biologically augmented gender role falls to brightly colored or otherwise physically decorated males, whose plumage/flowing mane/large horns distinguish them from their unadorned, more drab sisters.