I was having a bad morning on Friday, and the sour mood seemed like it was going to hover throughout the weekend. The rain wasn’t helping. Scanning through Facebook updates, I saw two or three mentioning a wedding video I had to see. Being less than a month after my own wedding (and the year and a half I obsessed over it) I was in no hurry to watch more weddings… but I decided to peek.
Five minutes later I was actually teary-eyed in the middle of work, and couldn’t stop smiling all day. I wasn’t sure exactly why I reacted like I did, but since then I’ve watched JK Wedding Dance at least a dozen times, and marveled at its ability to be the most viral of the virals, ascending in views like almost no other YouTube hit.
And there’s a damn good reason for it. It might be the best and most powerful YouTube video of all time. It has it all.
What JK Wedding Dance does, and it does it effortlessly, is present us with the ultimate wish fullfillment. It tells us that undeniably, life can give us happy, Hollywood endings, and shows us (if not for the first time, one of the first) that real life can have climactic third acts that rival the best musicals, or Shakespearean and romantic comedies. It’s not life imitating art imitating life, its proof that life functions the same way art does- in three acts, with clear protagonists and replete with dance numbers.
Reality television has spent its entire brief life trying to package people’s lives into three acts, with the same beats and dramatic structure as fictional TV shows and movies- but it’s so obvious what it’s doing, and you can tell they work so hard at it, that it never comes across as genuine.
JK Wedding Dance spares us the first 85 minutes of the movie- it just gives us the final five. The climax of a Baz Lurhmann movie. The final scene of nearly every romantic comedy since Billy Shakes. It makes us believe that the love between that entire wedding party, and towards that bride and groom, is unfathomable- the kind of love we read about and watch in dark theaters, and channels billions of dollars into the entertainment industry. That kind of crazy, ideal love, all expressed in a dance number.
People loop this video in with other wedding dance videos, but its really nothing like them. It’s the ineffable proof we’ve all been searching for, and that’s why it has a cosmic trajectory, an unmatched power, and a knack for conquering our hearts. It tells us what we’ve wanted to hear since our first feel-good movie experience. This Is How It Really Happens.