The "La La Land" director and country superstar retool the hit classic as "5 to 9" for Squarespace.
Damien Chazelle and Dolly Parton have teamed up with Squarespace to create a Technicolor Superbowl ad celebrating the side hustle—and it seems they may have struck a nerve. The now-ubiquitous side hustle can be a tricky subject, and YouTube comments on the already-released video are steely.
"Normalize paying people a living wage so they don't need side hustles," Mike G. wrote.
"Please don’t normalize our terrible economy ✨ there’s nothing fun about working 60hrs/week," Samuel Miriello added.
After all, people really shouldn't need to work more than full time to make ends meet, and Chazelle, Parton, and Squarespace seem like they're glamorizing an underpaid, workaholic culture.
Read generously, however (if you please), their shiny "5 to 9" is an ode to people who are trying to leave those dreary 9-5s behind for good. A side hustle to eventually replace the main hustle, if you will. As the grays of the 9-5 in Chazelle's video are replaced by the bright, beautiful spaces of the workers' side hustles and Dolly's strong voice, the ad encourages us: "Make Your 5 to 9 Full Time." If anyone would connect with Squarespace's message, honestly, it's this particular director, whose films are all about the price of dreams (although he perhaps sets that price too high), and this particular musician, whose "rags-to-rhinestones story" is the stuff of legend. Their own obvious hustle mentalities of course further complicate an already thorny discussion, but you can bet they believe in it because, well, it worked for them.
As Parton sings:
Well you've got dreams and you know they matter
Be your own boss, climb your own ladder
That moment's getting closer by the day
You're in the same boat with a lotta your friends
Launching ideas you all believe in
The tide's gonna turn and it's all gonna roll your way
As for the short itself, "5 to 9" recalls the colorful production design of Chazelle's film, La La Land, and features the choreography of Tony-award-winning choreographer Justin Peck—all set to Parton's re-written classic. Parton herself appears in a cheeky cameo of sorts, winking at viewers from the cover of a magazine. A full-length version of the song is available on Spotify, so if you do need inspiration as you work after-hours, well, have at it.
What do you think? Is this new ad a tone-deaf glamorization of unhealthy hustle culture, a cheerful ode to "the ones who dream," or a complicated combination of the two? Sound off in the comments.