Remember how that Irish farmer got mad at
Directed by Melina Matsoukas ("Hard," "S&M," "Rude Boy" and "Rockstar 101"), the video features British model/boxer Dudley O'Shaughnessy as Rihanna's green-eyed love interest. The smoldering couple make their way through Belfast, Ireland, experiencing the ups and downs of love.
Despite the song's feel-good, sunny vibe, the video is a dark look at love and substance abuse. The mini-movie opens with a voice that sounds somewhat like Rihanna doing a cockney accent saying, "I saw you screaming and no one can hear. You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important that without them, you feel like nothing. No one will ever understand how much it hurts. You feel hopeless, like nothing can save you. Then when it's over, and it's gone, you almost wish you could have all that bad stuff back, so that you could have the good."
The speech certainly foreshadows the events of the video. Perhaps inspired by films like "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream," Rihanna and Dudley play gutter punks who are not only addicted to each other, but also drugs and partying. The video is a montage of their love affair: a dizzying mix of sweet, tender moments, sexier, naked moments and moments where both Ri and Dudley are too messed up to care much about anything but the feeling of being high, often leading to fighting.
They skate, they kiss, he watches as Rihanna frolics topless in a field, they party. All the good is bookended by fights (one notably in a car) and drug-fueled benders. And, in the end, all of it becomes too much for the couple and the frustrations and pressures of their love affair begin to become more about the rush than the actual love. In the end, they can't handle each other, and Rihanna walks out, leaving Dudley passed out on the ground barely able to do anything to win her back.
The video is vaguely reminiscent of Rihanna's own recollections about her past abusive relationships. In a 2009 interview with MTV News, Rihanna opened up about her choice to always be honest with her fans.
"One of the big things for me, I always want to help young women and give them insight into life experiences," she explained. "One of those things is going through an abusive relationship like I did. But that's one thing for me. So I don't want to be the big domestic-violence spokesperson, because that doesn't define who I am. But if I can help young women in any way, and that being one of the things they need help with, then I'll do that."