Though it’s long looked like Christina Aguilera and Cher’s Burlesque would be the most satisfyingly campy movie of the fall, we are starting to suspect that in Country Strong, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow as an alcoholic country music star, it is facing something of a comer — needless to say, a very exciting development! Unlike Burlesque, Country Strong does not seem to be winking at itself, the key element of camp. But then Gwyneth Paltrow earnestly singing country music is the equivalent of a dude with an eye-twitching disorder — the winking, it is happening, intentionally or otherwise.
The latest evidence to suggest that Country Strong is some kind of bastard camp with the potential to make you cry when you are not busy mocking it is the music video for “Country Strong,” off the Country Strong soundtrack, performed by Gwyneth Paltrow in real life and also in the film. Though a Gwyneth Paltrow country jam may sound like something you want to avoid — good luck with that, as inevitably it is going to be playing at the dentist’s office forever — there is something stealthily fascinating going on here. That something is all to do with Paltrow, who has aggressively, and successfully, made herself over as a total snob, but is now doing her most heartfelt work in years by playing a down home, sloppy, Taylor Swift look-alike. In the video, the snob — in leather pants, making a series of the exact same “sultry” faces — and the Swift-ian, who appears thanks to clips from the movie, vie for primacy: It’s a fascinating little fight, that of course the snob wins in a walk. Gwyneth Paltrow would obviously make Taylor Swift cry.
And, just for good times, the money shot proving that all of those endless tiny arms work outs have really, really worked: