La La Land

I guess it was inevitable that I was to see this movie. After watching it there were really not enough words to describe it, and ever fewer to describe the incredible number of non-professional troll reviewers at IMDB who predictably hated it. One proud reviewer even boasted that he left after 20 minutes, went to a Chinese restaurant and got Won ton soup, and then named his review Won ton soup! He actually reviewed the movie without seeing it. How clever! Reading these negative reviews just further explains our society today. Sometimes we refuse to allow ourselves to enjoy something really beautiful.

That is enough of the negative as we just have to live with the reality that some have the movie insight of a cherry clam. La La Land was wonderful. La La Land was gorgeous, precious, uplifting and heartbreaking, and a bleach for the darkest of souls. From the toe-tapping initial scene which erupted from the autos and onto the flyover, to the heart-breaking but at the same time tremendously inspiring last scene, the viewer is treated to a modern day musical gem. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling perfectly gave us the most cohesive chemistry you could ever ask from a movie. We watch them inevitably fall in love and we love them, regardless of where the movie takes us.

La La Land has three shining stars, two of them human and the third as a composite of humans, in the bright and pleasing portrayal of Los Angeles. Never has a Southern California traffic jam been more enjoyable and never has the L.A. skyline looked more spectacular. We were also treated to glimpses of Old Hollywood, the Colorado St. Bridge, the Lighthouse Jazz Club, and a genuinely great sequence at the Griffith Observatory. The big question was probably whether or not a musical like this could even work in 2016, but Damien Chazelle exceeds all reasonable expectations with this dazzling work. The performances by both lead stars were certainly Oscar-worthy, as was the cinematography and score. Damien Chazelle has certainly elevated himself to more now than just a rising star with Whiplash and now this wonderful movie. I guess what I was most impressed with is how he incorporated the nostalgia of previous Hollywood musicals into the modern-day setting.

There has been plenty written about this movie, so I’m keeping this relatively short. You do not have to be a fan of musicals to thoroughly enjoy this movie. In fact, it might be more enjoyable if you are not because there seemed to be some unrealistic expectations from some viewers who are big musical buffs. After such a tough 2016 on so many levels, La La Land provides a joyous lift and diversion, so don’t miss it. It goes without saying that La La Land is best enjoyed on the big screen.

This fine film gets a 10/10 with the Goatesians Seal of Approval

Memorable Quotes or One-liners:

  • “You’re fired” -Bill
  • “It’s Christmas” -Sebastian
  • “I know, I can see the decorations” -Bill
  • “How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future. ” -Keith
  • “I think you should call it Seb’s because no one will come to a place called Chicken on a Stick. -Mia
  • “They worship everything and they value nothing” -Sebastian

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