Grande’s love for the 2004 teen comedy opened the floodgates of creative inspiration when she and Davis began brainstorming ideas for “thank u, next” while working on the “breathin” music video earlier this year.
“She played me the song and I was like, ‘Holy sh-t, you really went there, and you used names in a way that turns everything into a positive,’ which was a cool spin on redefining a breakup song,” Davis remembers of her first impression of the then-unfinished tune. “I [knew] the video had to be tongue-in-cheek because the song is so playful at the same time.”
The process then graduated to Grande’s living room, where the pair’s idea ballooned to incorporate more classic movies they were both raised on, like Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde, Kirsten Dunst’s Bring It On, and the Jennifer Garner-starring 13 Going on 30.
“These other movies that we grew up with came to the surface from this era and were in the same vein, all about girls who’d gone through breakups, but came out on top,” Davis says. “We both grew up on these movies, as did a lot of people in our generation, so to create something nostalgic was a goal, but we also wanted to make it personal to her.”