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Did anyone see this movie?
I noticed there was a big mistake with the Academy Awards folks giving them an award that was intended for Moonlight, so I thought I'd share some opinions about the movie.
I can watch a musical if it is a good musical. I grew up watching The Sound of Music every year. That was a good musical. The songs were original, and the storyline made sense. The kids were cute and as I child I could relate to that. It had scenes for children and adults, a heartwarming movie.
Another good musical comes to mind, Les Miserables. That whole thing is a musical, all singing, and no talking. And Anne Hathaway and some of the then lesser-known actors had some great voices. Hugh Jackman was pretty good. And Russel Crowe did okay. There was lots of 'star power' in that movie. The scenary was really good. The lyrics and storyline were interesting.
But usually, just watching people standing around singing and dancing without a cool modern sound track is pretty lame and boring.
La La Land was kind of lame and boring. The actors could sing.... better than average, but not well enough to sit around watching them for what felt like 4 hours, but was only 2 hours and 8 minutes.
In the story, there is this rude poor musician, and this poor young actress. He can't hold down a music gig, and he has a dream to start a club. She wants to be an actress and works in a coffee shop. He's rude to her a couple of times, once in traffic, and once when she wants to complement his music right after he got fired. He accidentally bumps into her and pours coffee on her before an interview. They meet at a party, sing about how they don't like each other. Then he shows up at her work and asks her out.
She has a boyfriend I think, but somehow she's suddenly living with Ryan Gosling's character, without a scene showing the breakup. He overhears her on the phone with her mom, and decides to take a piano/keyboard gig with a modern jazz band, while he doesn't like it because he's an old school jazzz purist. He's working toward opening his jazz club
He talks his girlfriend into writing plays after she says she wrote them as a child. They get in a fight. She puts on a play she wrote. He misses it because he had the wrong day for the schedule of a photo shoot. Why they don't call each other on a cell phone about such things is not clear at all. So they are sort of broke up. He gets a call about her having a casting call, drives to her parents house, honks the horn until she comes out, and takes her to the audition. She gets this unrealistic gig where they write the movie around her, in Paris, for 7 months.
They have a conversation leaving their relationship hanging. He's going to keep touring. She's going to pursue her dream in Paris. He doesn't ask her to marry him or make it clear that they are to get married. It's kind of left hanging. Are they broken up or together?
Fast forward five years. She's married to another guy and has a baby. They got out for dinner, get stuck in traffic, and decide to pull off the highway and have dinner at some random place. She enters the jazz club with her husband and sees the name she suggested. Ryan Gosling sees her and freezes. Then he plays a song he used to play for her.
Then it gets weird. She gets up and kisses him. We watch an on-stage version of their life where he follows her to Paris, they get married and have a kid and go out to dinner sit down at the table, and watch him play the piano. She leaves with her husband, looks back at him, both looking sadly. Then they both smile at each other.
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No for the social commentary. La la Land illustrates a lot of what is wrong with our dating culture. FIrst of all, why is this girl with a boyfriend going out with this other guy Ryan Gosling? Why does she 'give it up' for him and go live with him? I don't know from that that she's a prize.
But let's say he thinks she is. Why doesn't he propose before she goes to Paris? Why doesn't he at least say he sees a future for them, and they just agree not to date other people? She was to be gone for 7 months, and he was going to tour for a couple of years. He could have saved up money for their club. She could have worked 7 months and married him after that and followed him on tour until the first baby. If he was serious about her, he could have done that.
But the message in the movie, I guess, is that he loved her so much that he wanted her to pursue her dream. What's wrong with having a dream of finding a wife or husband? What's wrong with that taking precedence over some (unlikely) dream of being a famous actress or playwrite or actually opening a traditional jazz club that people would want to visit? It sounds kind of like a feminist relationship, where her dreams and career are more important than marriage and family.
And my last bit of commentary, is I don't see why La La Land grossed almost $370 million dollars. Something doesn't add up. It's just not that entertaining. If you watch it, wait for it to come out on DVD so you can fast forward over the singing and a stupid long scene of their silhouettes dancing against a purple background. For Les Miserables, you might even use the remote control to repeat a song. But for this, the singing is okay, but not worth listening to for a long time, IMO.
I asked my wife after she'd seen it how she'd rate the movie on a scale of 1 to 10. I had '5' in mind. She said '5.' So I guess we were on the same wavelength. I haven't seen Moonlight, but I am happy some other movie won best picture this year.
I really don't get the academy awards. I don't track who wins what picture every year, but I remember reading that HER won an academy award. I tried to watch it on a long airplane ride once. Now, the sound was a bit low just on that movie, so it was just a little hard to follow. But I could still hear it. I remember getting halfway through the movie, and thinking why was I subjecting myself to watching this stupid movie, when there were all those other movies in there that are actually entertaining.
I do understand the academy giving La La Land awards because it is about their own field and their own city and geographical area. They can relate to it, maybe. Maybe it's a bit narcisistic for them to vote for movies about their career, and Hollywood is no stranger to narcisism. What I don't get is why other people bothered to go out and watch the movie. Maybe there is a huge untapped market for musicals, and audiences who like them are willing to eat up whatever lousy scraps Hollywood throws at them, as long as there are some big names in it.
While, from many angles, Emma Stone is pretty, it is interesting that when she sings or gets a bit emotional, she looks like she is about 50 years old. Her face does convey a lot of emotion, so maybe she's a new leading lady because of her acting talent.
Whether the academy