It’s the movie everyone is raving about. It’ll win a sh*t ton of Oscars. La La Land came out late last year and everyone, critics to regular people, love it. This movie has many facets that should add up to me loving it: it’s a musical, it stars two celebrities I like, and usually movies with accolades are movies I like too.
But, it just didn’t do it for me.
Two caveats affect my opinion.
First, my husband and I watched it from home, on the internet. You can deduce since it still is in theaters this means the quality of video/sound wasn’t ideal. On a good day, I have issues hearing clearly (so much so I’ve started turning on Closed Captioning for all my shows) so maybe I couldn’t fully understand all the songs. Perhaps this is why I also though Gosling and Stone had such weak singing voices… but doesn’t make up for the lack of spark in the dialogue or plot.
Secondly, I’m deep into season two of Crazy-Ex Girlfriend and La La Land just pales in comparison. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is witty, snarky, the songs are tight and catchy. The acting is incredible. Maybe my “musical” entertainment ability is maxed out and I can’t enjoy anything else right now.
After watching hours of Rachel Bloom dance and sing her heart out, looking healthy and alive, seeing Emma Stone was a shock. “She’s so thin”, I kept commenting to my husband, like an old cranky lady on the subway, “She needs to eat something”.
Ryan Gosling is steely and handsome as always, but he can’t sing. I don’t understand why such a big-budget Hollywood movie felt the need to cast these two actors as leads. There are plenty of people looking to make it in the biz who would have brought life and joy to the screen.
Now, I’m not suggesting all musicals are the same. Just because they are both musicals doesn’t mean it’s a fair comparison. But La La‘s story and execution didn’t capture my attention at all. I felt no sympathy for Stone’s character’s plight of “struggling actress barista” and even less for Gosling’s “struggling jazz player trying to save jazz” character.
People are loving the return to classic “Musical Movie” with this, and it is a good distraction from the mess of current day news. Perhaps I’m an old grump nick-picking on La La. But my honest opinion from the opening number was “underwhelmed”.
But, like I said, maybe the excellent Crazy-Ex is making me judge this movie to0 harshly. My husband certainly loved it. He’s playing the music on repeat on our Amazon Alexa. I do like the elements of jazz with the soundtrack, but once the singing comes on it’s just, blah. Give me a song about “Heavy Boobies” over “City of Stars” any day.