thoughts on la la land (2016)

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I love and appreciate all types of musicals, especially those that can be pulled off as movies, but in my opinion La La Land was not one of those musical movies. La La Land follows the loved filled year of Mia and Sebastian who are trying to follow their dreams in LA. The things that La La Land did well I really loved but there was a lot of the film that took me out of it completely so I can’t call it a masterpiece.I’ll be honest, a lot of me already had a bias opinion on the film. It’s a boring concept that (I still think) doesn’t deserve all the recognition it’s getting but here we are. The story caught me off guard with being very funny and extremely loveable. The relationship between Mia and Sebastian made me cry in the best ways possible. The story was written realistically for me to relate completely to it which I appreciated. And there were things about the characters that made me love them as separate individuals.

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I liked Emma’s character and how she played her for the most part and I loved Ryan’s character and how he played him for the most part. There was just some aspects I think could have been done a lot better. Emma is not a singer and that was made apparent in the first song she sings with Ryan, “A Lovely Night.” Her voice was just a little breathy and unenjoyable, almost cringey. Everything else about her performance was great except when she was in those musical scenes. I could see how uncomfortable and even if she wasn’t physically uncomfortable it was awkward for me to watch her try and act, sing, and dance all at the same time. That being said there were scenes that really blew me away with her, examples being when Mia and Sebastian were fighting outside of the theatre after her show, and the fight at dinner. You really saw her acting shine through. Her redemption was her final solo song near the end of the film, that scene felt a lot more with it and together and my opinion maybe because it was without the dancing. Easily one of my all time favourite moments in the movie. Ryan Gosling on the other hand was more of the opposite. I thought he killed it in the musical numbers and you can tell he has a trained voice, but while his character was fighting with Mia, for some reason i couldn’t take him as serious as I took Emma. This could be because I related to Mia’s character more though. The chemistry between the two was obviously there and I overall enjoyed their scenes together very much, thankfully it was most of the movie.

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The music to me was beautiful separately than when I watched it on screen. It seemed to be misplaced throughout the musical and only a few songs made sense to where they were placed. I loved “City of Stars”, “Another Day of Sun” was a great way to open up the movie, and “The Fools Who Dream”is one of my favourites and I liked all the songs the boys played as a band. Compared to those songs “Someone In The Crowd” seemed a little awkward, and “Lovely Night” sounded very messy on both Emma and Ryan’s part. To me the music wasn’t the best part of the movie which is why I was a little disappointed. That being said the songs I did like was enough for me to root for Justin Hurwitz and look forward to what he’ll do in the future.

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In conclusion… do I hate this movie as much as I thought I would? No, not at all. I was surprised with how much happiness it brought to me, I was surprised when it made me cry, and I was surprised I wanted to dance all the way home with my boyfriend after seeing it. It was relatable, it was joyous, it did almost everything right. That being said, do I think that this movie is a masterpiece? No, not at all. This movie was a great piece of film with a very important message and ending but nothing more. I will probably watch it again because of how fun it is and how catchy the songs are but to me this movie is on par with the Notebook. The Notebook isn’t a masterpiece, it’s just good and sad. And La La Land isn’t a masterpiece, it’s just good and fun. And sometimes that’s all you need. If you are looking for a film to take your mind of the bad, something you don’t have to think to hard about, a lovely movie to make you laugh and cry, I recommend La La Land

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