We at Stereogum could justifiably be accused of stanning pretty hard for Carly Rae Jepsen. But we have nothing on Max Landis, the star screenwriter behind movies like Chronicle and American Ultra. Landis, who moonlights as an obnoxious internet personality, has written a berserk, intense 150-page manifesto-of-sorts about CRJ and his theory that all of her songs play into a single narrative.
As Slate points out, Landis knows that he’s being absurd, and he’s shared a video that portrays him as a ranting mental patient:
But he also really did write this thing, and he insists that it’s sincere. Landis’ idea is basically this: All of Jepsen’s songs — including her covers and Christmas songs and TV-show themes — are ultimately about a relationship that went wrong. Here’s an excerpt about Jepsen’s E•MO•TION album:
Lyrically, it seems to tell the story of a young hesitant, shy girl who was going through a rough emotional situation, until she fell in love with an overworked/unhappy/ emotionally unavailable platonic male friend, possibly a professional peer.
He flirted with her first, and she hesitated, but finally gave in and things got out of control, becoming sexual. This is characterized as “wrong” or a morally “dark” choice, needing to be kept a secret. They have a brief romantic, or at least sexual relationship; it’s escapist fun, but she becomes obsessed, says things she regrets.
He ultimately rejects her, trying to step back the relationship to “just friends,” she is devastated and endlessly pleads for him to give her a second chance, frantically switching between open begging and attempts at manipulation, appealing to his black heart or worst nature.