Shawn Mendes taps into early-2000s nostalgia for new music video

Island Records/Focus Features

Shawn Mendes dropped a treat for teenage girls and movie buffs alike with the music video for his latest single, “Lost in Japan.” The singer enlisted the help of 13 Reasons Why star Alisha Boe to play the Scarlett Johansson to his Bill Murray in a series of scene re-enactments from Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning 2004 film.

Mendes and director Jay Martin (with whom Mendes also collaborated on his “Stitches,” “Mercy,” “In My Blood” and “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” videos) borrowed several iconic scenes from Lost in Translation that were instantly recognizable for anyone who even a passing knowledge of the film.

The pink-wig-zebra-print-wallpaper parallel is the most obvious connection, but Mendes also sits on a hotel bed in a petit gold robe, films a scotch advertisement and watches himself on a billboard from a moving car. Scenes of the singer taking a shower and standing in an elevator are also straight from the movie.

Despite the obvious similarities in title construction, Lost in Translation is a bit of an odd choice for a tribute. Yes, the 2003 film earned Coppola an Oscar for Best Screenplay, was a critical success and helped reignite Bill Murray's career and launch Johansson into another level of fame, but considering many Mendes fans were born after its release (and Mendes himself would have only been five years old at the time!), it's a bit of a stretch to say it would be especially meaningul to member of the Mendes Army.

Maybe the Pickering native is secretly a huge film buff who just wants to craftily expose his young fan base to critically-acclaimed films? Whatever his masterplan, the fans are eating it up.

If you’re really feeling that Lost in Translation nostalgia or want to do your own scene by scene comparison, here’s the original trailer for the film.