I saw this some time ago and really slacked on my movie reviews. Did you think for a moment I had disappeared? Not so. ;) I'm too bad to stay away for long.
La La Land was billed as a musical when it came out. Problem. Major one. La La Land kiiiiiiiind of isn't one. A few vocally sung scenes in a lengthy film do not make a musical happen, Gretchen Weiners. Stop trying to call La La Land a musical.
La La Land is a silent film in color played across instrumental jazz, oh, with dancing sparingly mixed in like the sugar you aren't supposed to eat atop the USDA food pyramid. Love it or hate it, you will notice right away after the first scenes, "What?! I thought?!" Yes. Not a musical, my friends.
Upon this point, you need to decide, "Do I like this because everyone else likes it? Do I hate it because people told me to hate it?" Outside a small circle of people I've asked, almost everyone decides in a ten minute burst whether they should shut it off and rant on social media about its awfulness or review the whole thing and love it because it uses salmon-pastel millennial pink throughout the motion picjah. Of the haters, most are corporate types above a certain age, law students and lawyers, stuffy teachers, and basically anyone who walks around pretending C-SPAN is cutting edge entertainment. On the other end, people proclaiming to love it appear within my questioning data pool to be people who work at the mall, faux hipsters, real hipsters, artsy chefs, the small group of film industry people who like everything portraying the film industry on screen, Instagram fashion bloggers, that sort of thing. Yes. I'm like those ABC/NBC/Fox News election analysts polling by voter demographics and reporting their research back on election nights. Rightfully so. You could probably tell a lot about people and their lives and, maybe, voting preferences, based on liking/disliking this movie. I'm talking to you people who shut it off after the caught in traffic ensemble musical scene, which is probably the only real musical-musical feeling song in this whole movie opening da picjah. Sorry, I love talking like those retro MGM executives with their cigar ashes all over the floor today.
Throwing all this aside, you'll encounter the rare individuals who think for themselves. They, the people who use their brain cells and aren't influenced by their surroundings or what is expected of them on social media because, yeah, everything now is about impressing others. Yeah, I'm calling out you people who support Joe Biden's daughter Ashley Biden's clothing line but throw shade at Ivanka Trump and boycott her fashion line while both women's fathers had groping allegations and neither comments on the topic. Sure, whatever hypocrisy flies for you this afternoon.
Of the film industry and non-film people including my dad, who cares to impress approximately no one with his non-hipster status, everyone enjoyed bits of La La Land, grew bored by the other chunks of its dreariness, found themselves rooting for Mr. Gosling's character's romance, and felt devastated by the ending. Ha! Can you sense my passion about this? I'm imagining right now everyone else on some sort of movie toned election night coverage. An important looking, somewhat dusty toupee'd news anchor is asking me, "Nicole, what were the exit poll results on the ending?"
To which I explain! "The voter groups as a whole were alienated by the ending regardless of race, gender or age, Mr. Toupee Anchorman." SPOILERS!
Everyone felt since the film was set up as an homage to all things old Hollywood and its idealism, Mr. Gosling's character needed a happy ending. We know what reality is. The aspiring big time actress girl leaving you for the fancy film producer and giving up all hopes of real love she once found with her soulmate, yes! We don't need a reminder. And this, angered everyone of every age I met. A film producer I talk to explained how it represented all he sees wrong with LA at the moment in one sitting. Everyone felt like they wasted their time with the buildup. "Was this going to be the moment she decided to leave her husband?" "Was this a look at what could be and she decided to stay with Ryan?" Neither. She saw him and didn't end up with him. The daydream that never was and killed the audience's romantic dreams forever.
La La Land stands out from the crowd for its beautiful lighting and set pieces. The style is its own character where the plot gives in. At times, the plot isn't really much of a plot – and that's OK. If you love a stylish visually appealing film, La La Land is for you. The slow scenes are worth sitting through to arrive at the beautifully choreographed color patterns and clothes.
For people who don't care about artistry and want to see a movie about Jennifer Aniston's hair breaking up with a guy only to win him back, it's probably not for you. For people who like happy endings, it's probably not for you. For people who love Pinterest walls, decorate everything in millennial pink, worship Lauren Conrad and think Ryan Gosling is hot, you probably don't care about good cinema nor musical scores anyway and will watch this movie because Ryan Gosling looks super pretty in it so it's probably for you. For people like myself who love three hour intense movie plots where you need Cliff's notes and/or action movies involving style over substance, you'll feel a little torn on this one.