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It can happen to anyone: the Nicholas Sparks-ification of a newly engaged acquaintance. The person who’s nickname was Daria in high school because she was “basically Daria (from Daria)” becomes a walking Pinterest board. Waterfalls. Twee balloons. Purebred dogs. White, white, white clothing. “You slept with the gym teacher twice,” you mutter at her engagement photos, half-caring. It’s the stress of the wedding planning, probably. It’s fine. The stage tends to be brief: in with the ring, and out after the cake.
Miley Cyrus, who has been a pop star for longer than anyone on earth has been alive, who was selling out stadiums before molten rock hardened into inhabitable terrain and bore life, released the new video on Thursday for “Malibu,” a little ditty on her new not-yet-titled album. The song itself is about her relationship with her fiancé, Australian hardbody Liam Hemsworth, whom she lives with in Malibu, and the video is chock-a-block full of the aforementioned engagement photo cues, from white outfits to balloons to a Lassie dog, and an ever-present ring.
In this, Sparksification Miley has become like any other white straight suburban every-girl. Except she and her beloved were actually in a Nicholas Sparks movie, meeting and falling in love on the set of 2010’s The Last Song. (They meet cute during a beach volleyball match. Her dad dies. It’s all very emotional.)
So what if Miley Cyrus has reached her Sparksian peak eight years after she starred in an actual Nicholas Spark film with her betrothed? Reinvention is the name of her game. The new, untitled album will also include “one song for Hillary Clinton and another for women in the workplace,” according to Billboard. Parts of old, weird, political Miley will probably bubble to the surface a little more readily in those videos, or in those lyrics. Between Hannah Montana, her 2015 collaboration with the Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, and even her 2013 solo album Bangerz, she has lived thousands of lives and she’ll live a thousand more.