Spared or Spoiled Movie Reviews: La La Land

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

La La Land (Summit Entertainment)

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Written & Directed by Damien Chazelle

Music by Justin Hurwitz

Choreography by Mandy Moore

Starring Ryan GoslingEmma StoneJohn Legend & Rosemarie DeWitt

La La Land is a straight-forward musical romance that is not as good as people are making it out to be, but much better than it actually should be. It is excruciatingly cute and cuddly and smile-inducing. I nearly hurt my face smiling so much. The choreography is whimsical and the songs are passable. But the ending… the ending is sensational. Go see La La Land before the bloom is off the rose.

Verdict: SPARED

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I really liked La La Land. I think I smiled all the way through from the 2nd musical number until I started crying at the end. It is your very basic boy meets girl yada yada yada story. And because there is not much to it, besides your basic romance formula, it made me wonder what people were seeing in it. Seriously, why so much hype?

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But I’ll tell you what I think they were seeing… Emma Stone’s amazingly graceful dancing. Ryan Gosling’s surprisingly good singing. And two incredible performances. But mostly the second film in a row that Damien Chazelle has knocked it out the bloody park. Whiplash was fabulous. And La La Land continues the string.

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Ryan Gosling is surprisingly good in La La Land. I have never been a fan of his. Here he plays a Jazz Pianist who refuses to sell out his art for the money (or success for that matter). His character is a frustrating look at the artistic purist.

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And Emma Stone… She gets better with every role she takes. Here her dancing is the primary element. Her movements are sublime. I hope she dances in everything. She’s always had this commanding stage presence but who knew she could move like an angel. And glide like a… totally different angel. She plays an aspiring actress and writer who gets no respect at auditions and in her day job on the Warner Brothers lot.

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These two, young artists, start an on-screen romance. And there’s not much else in terms of plot. La La Land is pretty straight forward. Romance, relationship, conflict, resolution. But the ending is magical. I cried. I won’t tell you what kind of tears for those of you who haven’t seen it. But they were very salty.

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La La Land brings to mind Woody Allen at his early 80’s romantic best. Billy Wilder in his 1950’s funniest. And Old Hollywood at its late 20’s musical finest. And I would be surprised if it isn’t on Broadway in about 10 years. Even though the music isn’t the best part, La La Land would still make a good Broadway show. Because of the dancing. The choreography is outstanding. And like I said before, Emma Stone glides across the screen making us fall in love with each angelic step.

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La La Land doesn’t completely live up to the hype. I still don’t see the big deal. It’s a rehash of the depression era musical. A great escape from these degenerate times. But I loved it. It’s fun and magical and romantic. And I enjoyed it profusely.

– Mel

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8 thoughts on “Spared or Spoiled Movie Reviews: La La Land

  1. This was a lovely movie and I really enjoyed it. While I don’t think it will necessarily become a classic, I’m still humming the music from that opening dance number and sometimes dance around to it when I’m home alone and no one is watching. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey – you liked this more than I thought you did! 🙂 I think the problem with hype (and too many Oscar nominations) is that it ruins movies a bit sometimes. I really enjoyed this movie. There are some truly lovely scenes and I liked the simple story & chemistry between the characters. It’s just not an all-time classic that deserves a million Oscars. And the songs were a bit boring (Sing Street had better songs but no nominations). But the Academy had to go & nominate it for a million things and annoy us all! And then they ignored Adams on top of it all. Ugh. Whatever. Stupid Oscars. One of these years I won’t watch the show!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sing Street’s music is good but highly derivative. I LOVED the movie but the songs were barely original. Still a lot better than La La Land’s bland musical numbers. City of Stars is boring. I don’t get it. West Side Story, Sound of Music, Cabaret, even Wizard of Oz The story is secondary to the great songs. La La Land is barely a musical. I probably won’t watch the Oscars but I can’t say for sure. I’ve never not watched it. Even when I was homeless, I watched the damn Oscar some place… every year since birth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I think it’s meant to be derivative since they’re kids copying the music they see on MTV so that’s okay. ; ) Agreed that all the classics are still the best, though. I’m now introducing my kid to the classics – We watched Singin’ in the Rain and The King & I in the past few weeks. She loved Singin’ In The Rain! Oh man… I can’t wait for the day she’s old enough to watch the Alien films with me. Will be a while… ; ) Yeah, I still watch those damn Oscars even though they start at 1am here and finish around 5am. Then I still go to work on Monday. I don’t know why the hell I do it to myself…

        Like

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