La La Land is… wow! Such an incredible soap, a soap balloon, a delusion. There must be something wrong with me, or it is that Damien Chazelle has made a pact with the devil, like that guy in Shortcut to Happiness, “Jabez Stone” (played by Alec Baldwin). Boys and girls, I don’t get it, how it received so many Golden Globes, why is all the fuss, and why such a huge imdb rate (8.8 at the time I write this review)? I think I’m missing something.
[source for all pics: imdb.com]
Prologue – First Impression
You remember that I wasn’t a huge fan for Whiplash, on the contrary, I have almost dismissed the movie, the acting, the screenplay, and pretty much everything in it, as unreal, unjustified. Even as a metaphor it was too gross to convince me. The music was fine, and I believe that it was used just to misdirect you from judging the movie as it was. Now you know what’s really funny? In La La land, not even the music can take you out from the movie. The element used this time to lure the public is the casting of the working duo. The pair from Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad has a huge fan base, and that fan base can’t reject any movie in which at least one of them plays. When they appear together, it’s a sure hit, so at least was in this case.
La La Land – Cast
Ryan Gosling is Sebastian, a jazz musician who dreams to own his night club. Emma Stone is Mia, an aspiring actress, Rosemary DeWitt is Sebastian’s bigger sister (an absolutely useless role for the subject). John Legend is a band leader and singer named Keith. In the movie there are also a few apparitions with Oscar awarded J.K. Simmons and one with Callie Hernandez. Movie is written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Music is composed by Justin Hurwitz.
La La Land is extremely long. It is boring with little artistic elements to compensate, except the main actors’ acting. They haven’t exaggerated, they did what they could to not disappoint their fans. At least Gosling was good, very credible with his piano playing, and Stone was sweet. They presumably deserved their Globes for best Actor and Actress. It wasn’t enough because the music wasn’t good, and everything else was mediocre, the dialogues, the singing, the dancing attempts. Choreography is signed by Mandy Moore, the gal who rose in “So You Think You Can Dance”, the famous dancing reality show created by Simon Fuller.
Plot, or at least a part of it, without spoilers
The story is unrealistic, is weak and leaves you with a bitter taste. Without spoiling it, I’ll say that the end is good by not being good, and Chazelle, with a few turns of a page, takes you out and back again from what actually happens in the story. I’m sure that critics, or at least the foreign journalists who voted for the Golden Globes, considered these switches brilliant. It was not enough. I like musicals, I’m glad that there are still people who don’t want to let them die, but it’s not this young director’s case. The story is imbalanced, the music is imbalanced. A pity. The beginning is too long, in the first hour you hear three or four songs when you figure that Mia (Stone) is a wannabe actress who lives with three other girlfriends in a cute apartment in LA, she works at a coffee bar in Hollywood and went out a lot by night in order to “socialize”. She has a new and ecological car and still hopes for the big break. Sebastian (Gosling) is a talented jazz man in and out of jobs where it seems he works for pennies, living pretty comfortable as well, driving quite a cool car himself. Let’s consider it’s a love story. If you miss watching the movie, you don’t miss anything important. And in matters of singing, the only genuine singer was John Legend, but if you want to hear him better head to Spotify than loosing almost three hours watching La La Land.
La La Land – Official Trailer
Above you have the trailer, which looks better than the movie itself. It was also cut to look much more attractive than what actually is shown in the movie. It tries to deceive you’re gonna watch a happy and funny movie at the same time, like the old ones with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Believe me, not being quite a drama either, it is much more blander than it seems.
PS: Before La La Land, I watched another Golden Globe nominee for Best Comedy-Musical Film, Sing Street. I liked it a lot. I thought that because winning the Globe, La La Land will be a lot better. I was deeply wrong.
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