The first installment is, of course, for La La Land. The Oscar nominations have finally been announced an a majority of the nominations is going towards the modern musical La La Land. La La Land tells the story of a jazz pianist falling for an actress in, you guessed it, Los Angeles. Many people adore it calling it one of the best films of 2016, but me? I think it is one of the most overrated, unrelatable films within the past few years. There are some spoilers in my reasoning so if you haven’t watched the film yet I suggest you don’t read this.
As a person currently living in Los Angeles who does work in entertainment and does also happen to be white like these main characters you would think I would relate to it but instead it was really much too hard for me to like it. I believe I am a little biased as I am not a huge fan of musicals and cannot stand Emma Stone, but there are other issues that really planted the seeds of why I disliked this movie.
1. Casting – I know I said other issues, but let’s just start with the basics. Ryan Gosling has sang before, I believe he has even put out a few songs with him playing guitar, but just because you can sing does not mean you are perfect for a musical. Gosling has a much kind of blues-ier, even can pass for rock singing style not really complimentary to musicals but it’s not the worst. Whereas Emma Stone who has sung in maybe SNL sketches and stuff like that has a very meak and weak singing voice, almost as frail as her tiny body. We get it their chemistry is great, but I mean they’ve played love interests in two other films prior so it isn’t like they have had practice.
2. Relatablity – La La Land tells the love story of a jazz singer and an aspiring actress falling in love – wow, very relatable to most of the country and the world. First of all, it is supposed to be a modern musical I do not understand what is modern about jazz, sure it’s still around but majority-wise not really big on the billboard charts anymore. An asprining actress? I am sure a big chunk of the world would not mind being a famous actress but how many people are? This musical is a very niche, very in-the-industry film. In a way, films like this that receive all of this critical praise but middle America is kind of out of “the know” about it is a prime example of the “bubble” that Los Angeles and big cities in America live in. Not to start any drama, but this is an example of why Trump won and why so many people were surprised Clinton lost. When you live in big cities, usually the east or west coast of America, you think everyone is like you and is hip to the same cultural events and ideas as you when actually there’s a GIANT space in middle America that does not relate at all. For instance, although La La Land is still in theatres and made an impressive $175 million worldwide so far, compare that to more mainstream films like The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron which made a cool $1.4 BILLION worldwide. Sure, you can’t relate to The Avengers but they’re not supposed to be normal people, you’re supposed to live in a fantasy where superheroes exist at least for the two and half hours you’re watching the film. La La Land is a musical about normal people who honestly are not the most normal.
3. The Story – I understand sad films are supposed to be sad and still are great, take for instance Oscar nominees and winners like Terms of Endearment and Titanic, but then there’s films that are sad and really don’t have to be. This film is about a romance that doesn’t work out. Why doesn’t it work out? Honestly kind of because they are both pretty selfish. When they meet and fall in love they’re both struggling to achieve their dreams – Gosling’s character (Sebastian0 wants to open up his own jazz club, Stone’s character (Mia) wants to become a successful actress, and guess what? They start to finally take huge steps achieving those dreams. Gosling joins a jazz band and goes on tour, where as Stone’s character books a role that has to send her to London, and instead of working things out maybe doing the long distance relationship thing for a bit they decided to break up and part ways. But that isn’t the full ending! We fast forward to maybe a few years later where we see Mia is happy and married to an older, successful man, they stop into a jazz club and who is the owner? None other than Sebastian! Proving that what? Maybe breaking up was the right decision? Maybe this whole move about a love that didn’t work out was kind of a waste? The choice is up to you. Ultimately I felt that they made mountains out of mole hills, if they truly loved each other they would have tried to stick it through, but the ending proves maybe don’t try, move on, be selfish, and you’ll still be happy. Honestly I felt it was a really unrealistic end result, life isn’t always going to work out for you, it might have been better if it ended on a sadder note because sometimes life ends sad and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Overall the music is fine, there are some fun dance numbers where they dance in the sky and stuff, but with it’s very weak storyline I can’t say I am a fan of La La Land. I don’t understand why people love it so much but I hope you guys now understand at least why I don’t.
Hope you enjoyed this new column, let me know if you agree or disagree with me about the film!