The only things I knew about La La Land when I walked into the theater were that it starred dreamboat Ryan Gosling, it had the record for most Oscar nominations, and it was a movie about white people saving jazz.
When I walked out, I understood everything.
Firstly, let me tell you how bad this script is. There’s a part where Gosling talks about “a shady man” who screwed him. He then runs into John Legend, who offers him a spot in his band. Gosling is uncomfortable, and I immediately thought, “oh this is the guy who screwed him.”
It isn’t! Instead, Legend is an up-and-coming jazz musician who is about to go on tour and offers Gosling $1000 a week and a share of the record and merchandise sales.
And he’s the bad guy.
At times cell phones exist, like when they need to walk and talk. But at two key moments, cell phones don’t exist. Moments in which the invention of cell phones would save them a hell of a lot of trouble. Also, at two points in the film, segregation exists.
But I digress. It’s a musical, which means Gosling is supposed to sing. Instead, he emits something I could only describe as a soft car horn. The other actors, including Whiplash’s JK Simmons, are so one-dimensional you could tip them over and lay them flat on the floor. Stone works at a cafe for a boss who doesn’t understand why she needs off for an audition, even though the cafe is LITERALLY in the heart of a movie studio.
Now, the movie is gorgeously shot. I also could stare at Emma Stone’s eyes and Ryan Gosling’s furrowed brow all day. And some of the songs are catchy, even though the lyrics to the main theme are “It’s another day of sun, the day has just begun,” which reads more like a suicide note.
This movie is a lock for at least 10 Oscars and it’s one of the most honest things I’ve seen in a long time.
I am of the belief that Hollywood has gone completely insane. It was always rich and white, but now they’ve reached a level of privilege that has completely isolated them from the common person. Homogeneity destroys the human brain and boy was it ever clear that these folks are out of their damn minds. A couple of mildly talented "broke" white people with unlimited budgets running around LA saving jazz FROM A BLACK GUY!
There's nothing outwardly "pernicious" about the intentions in this film. This is what the people want (it made 10 times its modest $30mil budget) and this is what Hollywood wants (record for most nominations). And even though the film was about everything I'm not about, I want to know what the other side sees. I want to see their world through their eyes. I was openly sobbing at the end because their world is a world I want to be in.
They’re in la la land.
And I am thankful that for $15 bucks, I got to live there for a couple hours.