I don’t get it. Seriously, I just don’t get it. The incredible reviews for LA LA LAND are staggering. What have they seen that I haven’t? Oh, before I carry on I have to announce SPOILER ALERT for fear of ruining it for those who haven’t seen it – or as I like to call them, the lucky ones.
To be honest, apart from Grease, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof and surprisingly Les Miserables I’m not a huge fan of musicals. Saying that, I am a huge fan of films, so, as I knew what to expect, I did watch this film with an open mind. And, to be fair, the opening scene was good. And fun. And colourful. The mistake was not to end the film there.
I like both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Emma Stone was incredible in Birdland and Ryan Gosling was excellent in Drive. They are good actors. Singers…. not so much. But not being great singers, and having a supporting cast that was as wooden as the title character in A Monster Calls, wasn’t the worst part of the film.
This was meant to be a throwback to the great musicals of a bygone age. However, just to make everyone aware that it was really a ‘modern’ take, they threw in a couple of swear words. Well done. And in one scene the two main characters start flying. Seeing actors suspended instead of my disbelief was very annoying. It reminded me of the end of Grease where the car takes off. Pointless.
But these weren’t the main problems with the film. The main problem was the storyline.
When we meet Emma Stone’s character she has been in a relationship with someone for a month. She then meets Ryan Gosling and the other guy is forgotten about. At the end of the film, five years after she and Gosling have separated and she has a new life with a new husband and child, she sees Gosling again. We look into her mind as she imagines how wonderful life would have been had she stayed with him. In this scenario, she is living in the same expensive house – let’s get our priorities straight – yet she has a different child. A different child! Putting to one side what type of awful wife she is, what type of mother is she?!
But, it can’t be denied, this film has done incredibly well. So did I forget to put on my Rose-Tinted 3D Glasses? I keep reading that it’s a positive, feelgood movie at a time when things are not so great. The thing is, it’s not feelgood. It’s a film about mistakes and regret. And the world doesn’t need to go to the cinema for that.