OMG – what the hell did I just watch? I feel like I was caught up in the Twilight Zone! La La Land….it was La La alright! I feel like I should have smoked something just to understand some of the content. Wow, my head is still spinning. The movie was supposed to be a recreation of old style glamour and hollywood regal, but I can’t help but think it was anything but. Don’t get me wrong, there were great moments, but for me it was simply lacking.
I don’t know if you know this but Ryan Gossling was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club when he was knee-high to a grasshopper. He danced, he humoured the audience and he also sang. You might be thinking he was alright? Well you see, that’s the problem I have, I didn’t think he was. Singing songs like Cry For You, as backup vocals alongside Justin Timberlake, he sounded ok. Nothing much to rave about. Maybe he was drowned out by the talented and young Timberlake, but what I saw didn’t impress me.
There is a clip from 2009 of Ryan and friends performing at what I think was a pub, maybe it was a friends party? I don’t know, but the clip that was loaded onto Youtube shows Ryan playing guitar and singing lead vocals. The song is a tad drab, reminds me of Australian performer Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds…. dreary, life draining sorrow that makes me think of vampires, zombies and the end of the world. Definitely not Justin Timberlakes vocal range.
So what does this have to do with the movie? Well La La Land is a musical! Ryan sings in the musical, Ryan’s voice isn’t what I would consider to be good enough for a big hollywood musical. It’s ok, it’s something you might listen to after you have consumed a few glasses of bubbly, but for a hollywood block buster, I would have thought not. I will say this though, the guy can act, and he plays the piano like a champ. In fact I would go as far as saying I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. If only he could hold a few more notes.
Emma Stone has a decent set of pipes on her. She isn’t Celine Dion, but she was a delight to listen to. Singing, acting, dancing… Emma is more than a little talented. She has great interpretive skills which enabled the audience to become enthralled in her world. You really felt for her characters predicament. Emma has played some fabulous roles in the past but I think she was a good choice for the role of Mia.
The movies producers and screen writers wanted the audience to think of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Well, I couldn’t do that. Ryan and Emma just didn’t have that same level of enthusiasm. They didn’t flow like Fred and Ginger. They looked great, but it was just lacking.
In regards to the plot, it was a refreshing twist on the age-old tale of falling in love. You meet, there are a few bumps in the road but eventually you find your happy place. Both the lead characters are madly in love and the movie ends with a fabulous top 40 theme song. Not this time, in La La Land their tale is a little more realistic. Let me ask you this – Would you give up your dreams for a guy? For a girl? What If… It’s the 2016/2017 version of falling in love, not the 1930’s. You don’t have to give up anything, you can follow your dreams with or in this case without a man. But what do you loose? If you had the chance to change anything, would you?
La La Land is a romantic fantasy, a walk down memory lane. If it wasn’t for the Mary Poppins moment and the drawn out ‘getting to know you’ it would have been a lot better.
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