Two Hours in La La Land

Last Wednesday I went to see the critically acclaimed musical, romantic, comedy “La La Land.” Like many women, I figured that the prospect of seeing Ryan Gosling and John Legend was not a bad idea.  As a person who enjoys the whole going to the cinema experience, I have learned that whether or not one enjoys a movie is directly related to his/her expectations. In this case, La La Land was everything its name implies, it was actually a trip to La La Land.

True to its genre, the movie offered everything a musical romantic, comedy should. It had the highly unlikely love story, the elaborate songs that send characters from one end of the city to another singing. It had elaborate dance routines, and beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. It had the  beautiful backgrounds in saturated color, and the great music. It was a very pretty movie.

It even had the perfect “meet-cute” where the tortured soul and passionate Jazz lover ,which is a persona I think Ryan Gosling had mastered ever since the “Notebook”, meets the struggling actress . Naturally, they hate each other at first and then they fall in love. Then, both of them are inspired to achieve their lost dreams.  So, you can imagine that this movie is based on a perfectly crafted story starring two people who show up in each other’s lives at the perfect time and in the perfect place. So, if this is your type of movie you will absolutely love it.

This is not to say that the movie is not fun to watch. In fact the scenes are so beautiful that they even look as if they came out of a big children’s story book. The clothes the characters were wearing were very stylish, and the whole movie had an interesting dreamlike quality to it. Watching it was actually like spending time La La Land. Whether or not you want to spend time there determines how those two-hours in the cinema or in front of your screen would go for you. It is kind of like going to a James Bond Movie. You would go in expecting to see elaborate shooting scenes and fights so far from reality and this movie  is just as unrealistic.

With that said, I must stress that there are some themes in the movie that I actually liked and there were some quotes in it that I found memorable. For example, in one scene, Sebastian , Ryan Gosling, says to his sister ” I’m letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I’ll hit back. It’s a classic rope-a-dope.” Being a person who believes that when things keep going wrong they eventually have to work out. I felt that this quote hit close to home.

I also really liked  the movie’s call for people to follow their dreams. After all, both of the leading characters had creative aspirations and it is with their perseverance that they both made it in the end. Call me the voice of doom, but I was actually happy with the not so “happily ever after” ending. The “happily ever after” ending would have made the movie a bit too cheesy.  I liked how the story did not sell the love conquers all idea .  The movie did that beautifully when it showed that one’s individual dreams are just as important as a relationship if not more so. The love story wasn’t  enough for one of them to give up on his or her own ambitions and I think that this call for individuality is what gave this movie some depth.

 

Being someone who is annoyed by the idea of anyone giving up their dreams or buying into the term “Grow up” I was happy to see none of the characters do that in the movie.  To me growing up doesn’t necessarily mean having a traditional job, an income, or a bank account. It means being responsibly for your own ideas, thoughts, and ventures even if those ventures are not predictable.

Finally, I also liked the call for individuality and  originality throughout the movie. I liked the quote by Keith , John Legend, when he said ” How are you going to be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.”. I think this quote falls under the threat of being average and is inspiring in its call for people to be exceptional.

Some parts of the movie were funny from Sebastian’s ridiculous car horn to their fights, the two hours did offer some laughs for me. However, other parts of the movie were a bit over the top for me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a first kiss will send me flying up into a starlit sky nor will it make me defy the laws of gravity.

Personally, I am more into watching deeper movies. However, as a person who sits through musicals, I don’t think the movie is bad at all. It is cute, and very deserving of the awards it got . Its scenes are very pretty. It is what it is.  It offer you a few hours in La La Land.

In a broader sense, I think that the quality of our lives in general is determined by our ability to manage our own expectations, and when it comes to movies the idea is basically the same.

 

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