One thought on “Review: LA LA LAND

  1. uucp2 says:

    I appreciate your reviews, but think you do La La Land a disservice by reviewing it as a musical. This was a jazz movie disguised as a musical.

    Musicals, even comparatively dark ones like Carousel or Sweeney Todd and supposedly novel ones like Hamilton, are intricately constructed and follow a formula in terms of the relationships between the characters, the timing of the major songs, and the tying up of all major themes and plot points at the end. Jazz, by comparison, is improvisational and unpredictable and different every time. However great a melody, the people playing it must adapt on the fly to the decisions being made by the people they’re playing with.

    The point of La La Land is that life is like jazz, that people must compromise and that you can end up with something very different from what anybody involved might have expected up front. It’s significant, I think, that the most cogent summary of the movie’s themes is made by John Legend when he argues with Ryan Gosling in favor of adaptability and survival.

    I agree that the last ten minutes of the film are by far the best. I suspect it was written first and everything else was crafted to get us there. The lesson, however, that (*spoiler*) sometimes things don’t work out and that’s OK, would be alien in a musical but fits perfectly here.

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