If you think you’re going to get everything you want, you’re living in La La Land.
Especially if you dream of being a movie star that has it all, the guy who single-handedly saves Jazz, or a completely charmed modern movie goer.
Because modern movies just aren’t into that. Especially La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Skip this movie to retain your dreams. Go see it to feel them shatter, albeit in an interesting way.
I heard a lot of buzz about this film, not all good. About how the lead actors had no “chemistry.” Huh. I wonder what movie THEY were watching. Because there was perfect chemistry…between two people who don’t belong together. I think Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone did amazing work given that they were portraying people on the paths we humans tend to take when we are not ready – when we are too afraid to actually get what we want.
From relationships to dreams, the movie is a study in disappointment for the characters. They make bad choices, not the least of which is to be together and then ignore each other.
Almost constant downers make the film not much fun for the audience, except for the Pretty! costumes and the Dance! numbers and the Music! playing.
The film relies on the novelty of retro style to balance the moodiness of the plot, rendering it watchable, despite the unhappiness. The production and art direction sleight-of-hand almost works; When you’re looking at dazzling costumes in elaborate musical sequences, you start to believe everything will turn out okay.
We go to the movies wanting to be fooled. La La Land is beautifully wrapped, like a seductive white elephant box under a Christmas tree. But when you open it, the exciting rattling noise is old Bic razors, a used toothbrush, and a nearly empty tube of toothpaste.
Two weeks into the current Republican Administration and I was emotionally wrecked to have this movie, billed as “in the style” of glorious, lighthearted old Hollywood classics, deliver a devastating message: “Get your head out of the clouds. You can’t have everything you want. You’ll make mistakes that have real, lasting consequences. And while you might turn out okay in the end, life is gonna mess you up.”
I’m pretty sure, at my age, I already knew that. Thanks for nothin’.