Nickelback are indeed one of pop history’s biggest punching bags and are possibly a sex repellant, but recently Chad Kroeger and Co. have shown that they have a sense of humor (even as the universe punishes their fans). Last year, they made this video when Detroit football fans petitioned to keep the group from playing its middling hard rock at a Lions halftime show. And earlier this year they made a pretty funny video responding to YouTube comments, including one about how men can feed babies without a particular part of female anatomy.
Now they’ve released a vaguely humorous video for the song “Trying Not to Love You,” off last year’s Here and Now. The good news is that you don’t have to look at Nickelback in the video; the bad news is you have to hear not one but two Nickelback songs if you attempt to watch it. The clip, which has a plotline that harkens back to videos like Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom,” stars former Baywatch baywatcher Brooke Burns and Jason Alexander, who uncharacteristically sports a full head of hair. (Imagine the record label’s corporate boardroom meeting: “Love having George from Seinfeld, babes, but, uh, can we give him hair?”)
As it begins, Alexander plays a friendly barista who makes “really awesome” lattes in a coffee shop that actually plays Nickelback on the PA. Burns walks in, Alexander stumbles a bit and fantasizers her asking for “just a latte” with what was probably supposed to be a sexy delivery but comes out kind of zombie-like. He then kind of lecherously stares at her while he makes her drink, picturing her in a bikini, grabbing at coffee cups, reclining in an inflatable chair in a latte and, in the least sexiest sequencing, reenacting the scene from American Beauty where Mena Suvari is surrounded with roses except, this time, with coffee beans. (Meanwhile Kroeger sings lyrics like, “If there’s a pill to help me forget/God knows I haven’t found it yet,” and given the overall Nickelbackiness of the music, we can sort of relate.) A Van Dyke-sporting rival for Alexander (played by Alexander) arrives on a moped, throws Alexander’s latte away and tries to show him up with some latte art of a man with a Van Dyke. For some inexplicable reason, Burns sticks it out as the guys out-macho each other, and it ends with a cute, PG-rated, feel-good ending. Apparently, Jason Alexander with hair is “sponge-worthy”; Nickelback’s soundtrack, not so much. Judge for yourself here: