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Music / She Will Be Loved

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"She Will Be Loved" is the third single from Maroon 5 from their debut album Songs About Jane. The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, tying with "This Love" as their highest-charting single at the time before "Makes Me Wonder" became their first #1 hit in 2007.

The music video for "She Will Be Loved" shows a young man (Adam Levine) who falls in love with the socialite mother (Kelly Preston) of his girlfriend (Corrine Carrey). The mother is not receiving love from her husband (John Colton) and turns to the young man for comfort after he discovers she's beaten unconscious by her spouse.


"She Will Be Loved" contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The song "She Will Be Loved" can be heard on the radio in the film The Last Song, a film which features Kelly Preston, who appeared in the song's music video. The song would also be featured on the film's motion picture soundtrack.
  • Age-Gap Romance: The young man's affair with his girlfriend's mother drives the entire plot of the music video.
  • All Abusers Are Male: In-Universe, where a woman is being abused by her husband.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The girlfriend who fawns over her boyfriend who is looking at her mother who has been watching him after her husband rejected her.
    He was always there to help her,
    She always belonged to someone else.
  • Almost Kiss: After consoling her, the young man and the mother almost kiss again... except that his girlfriend is standing right there and has already seen them.
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  • Ambiguous Situation: After the young man and the mother are caught together by his girlfriend, it's left up in the air as to what happens next. Do the young couple break up or stay together? Does the young man stay with the mother? All the audience knows is the three protagonists are left staring face to face at one another.
  • Awful Wedded Life: The socialite mother is depicted in an unhappy unloving abusive marriage with a rich older man who treats her horribly, to a point where she is being abused by her husband when no one is looking.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The music video for "She Will Be Loved" shows the daughter, whose youthful looks could indeed possibly pass her for eighteen years old, with Adam first. The line "Beauty queen of only eighteen" is sung. However, it's quickly revealed that the real Love Interest of Adam's character is the mother, who is decidedly middle-aged.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: After getting beaten by her husband, the mother throws herself at the young man after he showed her kindness that her husband never shown her.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Why the old man smears his wife's lipstick across her mouth with a slap during an fight (because she was flirting with some of the party guests in front of him) justifies this.
  • Beta Couple: The socialite and her husband are this to the young couple in the video, though they're not a happy one.
  • Betty and Veronica: The young male protagonist finds himself stuck between his sweet young girlfriend and her older but much more attractive-looking mother.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: After being found passed out in the basement, the mother awakens and plants a big one on the young man who finds her.
  • Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: The rich old man and his wife clash while the boyfriend and their daughter are sweethearts.
  • Big Fancy House: Much of the music video takes place in the daughter and mother's mansion.
  • Bitch Slap: In flashbacks, the old man inflicts this on his wife, enough that she is bursting into tears after their fight is over.
  • Broken Smile: Mentioned by name in the chorus of "She Will Be Loved."
  • Celebrity Cameo: Actress Kelly Preston notably stars as the mother of Levine's girlfriend and his secondary love interest.
  • Changed for the Video: The mix of the song used in the video is slightly different from the album version, the most noticeable change being that Adam Levine doesn't sing with Auto-Tune in the chorus.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The daughter wears light colored clothing to symbolize her sweetness and innocence while the mother wears dark colored clothing to symbolize her exotic and distressed nature.
  • Color Wash: Everything in the music video is shot in a bright color of golden orange.
  • Concept Video
  • Cooldown Hug: The young man gives one to the mother after she throws a fit.
  • Covered in Kisses: During The Big Damn Kiss scene, the mother covers the young man in so many kisses that she smears her ruined lipstick all over him.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The socialite's older husband actually becomes this when he sees his wife is acting flirtatious towards some younger male guests at the party and reacts unpleasantly about it later when he beats his wife during a fight.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: By the end of the music video it's revealed, the daughter is the one titular girl with a broken smile, not just her mother, as she's the one who has to witness her boyfriend and her mother having an affair. Twice.
  • Damsel in Distress: The mother being the titular 'She' needing to be rescued as she's in an abusive marriage. The daughter too eventually, as she has to deal with the heartbreak of catching her boyfriend and her mother together Not once, but twice.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: As a result of being abused by her husband, the mother is so desperate for love and affection that as soon after she's found passed out in the basement by her daughter's boyfriend, the first thing she does is kiss him...leading into an intense makeout session between the two of them.
  • Domestic Abuse: The mother is constantly rejected by her older husband and abused physically and verbally by him.
  • Double Meaning: "She Will Be Loved" could be referring to the daughter or the mother or both as things become complicated.
  • Downer Ending: The video ends with the daughter nearly in tears after seeing her mother and boyfriend Almost Kiss.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Subverted. The mother was found passed out after a brutal beating from her husband and the young man goes to help her up to her feet. Nothing happens at first, as he's only looking at her. Only minutes later, the mother awakens and she kisses him.
  • Empathic Environment: The music video takes place on a hot summer day at an L.A. Mansion.
  • A Family Affair: The young man dates his girlfriend but falls in love with the girlfriend's mother.
  • Flashback-Montage Realization: When the young man and the mother's affair is discovered by his girlfriend, flashbacks reveal that she's actually caught them the first time.
  • Flashback Stares: Happens whenever the male protagonist and his girlfriend's mother are busy looking at one another.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The mother gets jealous when she sees the young man is in love with her daughter and it only escalates when her own husband still won't return her love.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Two characters of the romantic quartet have affairs with one another, the mother and the young daughter's boyfriend. While the mother's adultery is considered "good" because she is being abused by her husband therefore she is sympathized with, the boyfriend's adultery, however, is "bad" because he knows he is hurting his girlfriend by cheating with her mother and he feels guilty about it.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In a couple of flashbacks, the mother is shown being abused by her husband. When the mother is found later by the young man, she is passed out on the floor with her lipstick smeared across her face. It's rather ambiguous whether the mother was knocked into unconsciousness from physical abuse or from alcohol induced idiocy.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: The marriage between the mother and the old man seems happy from the outside, but on the inside, the mother is miserable because she isn't getting any love from her abusive husband. And only the young man picks up on this.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe: After you've seen the whole music video through repeated viewings, one would begin to feel more sorry for the girlfriend than her mother.
  • Held Gaze: Between the young man with his girlfriend and again between the young man and her mother, all during slow dance scenes. Eventually happens between all three after the affair is discovered by his girlfriend.
  • Holding Hands: The young man and his girlfriend are often holding hands while spending time together. The mother attempts this with her husband and it fails many times.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: The young man and the mother are so busy making out that they didn't even hear her daughter coming down the stairs into the same basement.
  • Intertwined Fingers: The young man and his girlfriend interlock fingers at one point.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: The line "beauty queen of only eighteen // she had some trouble with herself".
  • Jealous Romantic Witness: The mother watching the young couple fawn over one another. The daughter witnessing her mother and her boyfriend almost kiss in the end.
  • Kick the Dog: During a fight, the mother tries make amends with her husband — only for him to slap her across the face.
  • Lady Drunk: The mother is implied to be this as she's shown in the opening of the video with a drink in her hand, acting flirtatious towards her daughter's friends and is later found passed out in the basement that same evening.
  • Laugh of Love: The mother is shown laughing with her lover during one of the flashbacks. The young man and his girlfriend share this together at one point.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: The daughter and the mother both wear light and dark clothing throughout the video. Highlighting the differences between them.
  • Longing Look: The young man and the mother exchange these looks to each other, especially towards the climax of the video between the couples.
  • Love at First Sight: After swimming in the swimming pool, the young man sees his girlfriend being dried off by another woman who is introduced as her mother and he falls for her the minute he first sees her.
  • Love Father, Love Son: The young man is dating his girlfriend, but falls in love with her mother.
  • Love Hurts: The music video centers around A Family Affair, what else do you think would happen? The final shot is of the daughter staring at her boyfriend and mother nearly in tears while the former two are in obvious guilt.
  • Love Martyr: The mother is in an abusive marriage with an older man who beats her and doesn't return any of the affection she's shown him. Despite all this, the mother still puts up with him in hopes that he will love her back.
  • Love Triangle: Adam finds himself torn between his love for his girlfriend and his growing love for her mother. When she's not trying to gain any love from her abusive husband, the mother turns to her affair with the young man.
  • May–December Romance: The socialite mother (who's in her 40's) and her rich abusive husband who looks to be in his 70's and old enough to be her father.
  • Moment of Weakness: What started the whole kiss. The young man was helping the mother to her feet after finding her unconscious in the basement. However, after she regains consciousness, she kisses him and though unprompted at first, the young man gives in to his attraction and reciprocate the kiss.
  • Mrs. Robinson: After being rejected by her husband, the mother starts to flirt with her daughter's friends and dances for them seductively. After a fight with her husband, the mother throws herself into the arms of her daughter's boyfriend who comforts her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The mother, who is portrayed by Kelly Preston.
  • Music Video Overshadowing: The song is about a guy who is a secret admirer of a woman who is investing her love in all the wrong men. The music video takes it up to eleven by having the younger man fall in love with a middle-aged woman (who happens to be his girlfriend's mother) and feel very guilty about it.
  • Oh, Crap!: The young man and the mother notice too late that his girlfriend has already seen them Almost Kiss. And again when flashbacks show the two getting caught in the basement.
  • Operation: Jealousy: The mother tries this twice.
    • First when her husband's ignoring her and talking to his friends instead, she dances around seductively for her daughter's guy friends to watch and it works only for it to end with her husband beating her up because of it.
    • The second time, after seeing how much in love the young man and her daughter are together, the mother becomes jealous and tries to initiate the same kind of romance with her husband by touching his knee while the mother looks on in jealousy. Only it doesn't work as her husband still doesn't return her affections and it leaves her jilted.
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: The young man falls for his girlfriend's mother and he feels very conflicted and guilty about it over time.
  • Pool Scene: The video opens up with one. Adam jumping into a swimming pool to clear his head. The young man and his girlfriend diving in together and sharing a kiss. The young man swimming around in one before he resurfacing and meeting the parents.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: The young man and the mother several times between kisses in the basement. Even when her daughter has walked in on them.
  • Quizzical Tilt: After being rejected of a kiss from her husband, the mother shoots her daughter's boyfriend a look of this. Tilting her head as she scopes him out before continuing to the party.
  • Race for Your Love: After the mother takes off crying, the young man runs after her to console her. The girlfriend does this as well after seeing her mother argue with her boyfriend briefly.
  • Rejection Affection: The socialite mother tries to get some affection from her husband but he constantly puts her down, much to her dismay.
  • Retargeted Lust: The young man fantasizes being with his girlfriend's mother while dancing with his girlfriend. The mother tries to seduce her husband to deal with her feelings for the young man, only to fail miserably.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Watching the music video on repeated viewing would make the audience realize the young man not only feels sorry for the mother, he also feels sorry for hurting his girlfriend.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The young man with his girlfriend, whose parents are rich and living a lavish lifestyle.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After still getting no romantic attention from her husband and seeing how in love the young couple are, the mother becomes overwhelmed and walks away crying.
  • Serenade Your Lover: In-verse where the male protagonist sings "She Will Be Loved" to both the mother and his girlfriend with his band all through the complicated situation in the video.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The video is often compared to the 1967 film The Graduate, as it has similarities with the storyline and its love triangle between the daughter, the boyfriend and the mother.
      Adam Levine: Maybe take some beautiful shots from that movie, which is one of our favorite movies of all time.
    • Another reference to The Graduate is the pool scene in the video's opening where Levine's character dives in: Notice that when he sinks to the bottom of the pool, he stops moving and just lays there stiffly. It also gives the impression of him escaping all the troubles outside the pool by essentially going back in the womb.
  • Shower of Angst: A Pool Scene version. The music video starts with the male protagonist jumping to a large pool and recounting the entire music video with a solemn look on his face.
  • Stacy's Mom: Over time, the protagonist finds himself falling more in love with the mother of his girlfriend. The mother herself is in her 40's but still alluring enough to attract even the attention of her daughter's friends and boyfriend.
  • Stalking Is Love: The young man and the mother stalk each other after their kiss in the basement. And it's portrayed as romantic rather than creepy.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The young man becomes obsessed and watches the mother from his car while she's out shopping with her daughter/his girlfriend. The mother also become obsessed, parking her car outside the young couple's house one night just to watch him.
  • Stepford Smiler: The mother carries on a happy facade at the party despite her unhappy marriage.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: The mother, whose rich deadbeat husband only abuses her and whose life consists of emotional anxiety. It's because of such an abusive marriage depicted being the reason that her adultery is sympathized. It's only after such abuse has taken place does she begin an affair with the young man who felt sorry for her to begin with.
  • Symbolic Serene Submersion: Adam floating in the swimming pool while thinking over the uncertainty of his love triangle.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The daughter. Wouldn't she have noticed something weird going on between her mother and her boyfriend sooner or later? Either she had no idea about it, or she was deeply in denial.
  • Twist Ending: At the end, after the young man and the mother are caught by his girlfriend, it's revealed in brief flashbacks that his girlfriend actually caught them kissing the first time in the basement — and has now caught them again, making the twist ending much harsher.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The socialite and her rich older husband.
  • Underwater Kiss: The young man and his girlfriend share a kiss after jumping into the swimming pool together.
  • Visual Pun: "Look for the girl with the broken smile". As these lyrics are sung, the mother is shown having her lipstick ruined by her husband with a slap across the face.
  • Wham Shot: The ending shows that the girlfriend actually walked in on her boyfriend and her mother making out in the basement that night.
  • Warm Place, Warm Lighting: The song's music video takes place during a hot summer of Los Angeles and is shot in a gold yellow hue.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Late at night, the mother is found passed out on the basement floor with her lipstick smeared across her face — a sign that she was abused by her husband earlier.