I can’t help but be a little biased towards this movie. I love musicals, but I feel like lately it is very difficult to find a good one, we need new movies like “Singing in the Rain” from 1952. But for every Lion King that we get, we also get a Frozen, for every Les Misérables we get a Sweeney Todd (which isn’t bad, actually I think it is very good for what it is, but it doesn’t stand out the same way). But finally, in 2016 we got that one musical that we needed, not only because it made it into the mainstream, or because it made musicals “cool” again, it also made “unconventional romances” romantic again, next to Jazz. Join me in this new review and opinion of the movie La La Land. If you haven’t seen it, I hope I can get you excited to see it, and if you have and you didn’t like it, let me try to change your opinion.
First of all, I want to write the first half without spoiling anything, I will warn everyone once I will speak with spoilers, but for now, don’t worry about it.
This is a two-hour long movie that tells the story of our two protagonists (Sebastian and Mia) who struggle to adapt to the L.A. lifestyle that they are looking for. Mia is a wannabe movie star, while Sebastian is a “real musician” struggling to keep people interested in hearing Jazz. This is what sets the mood for this movie, the crazy life style of L.A. people and how everyone lives in their own little world trying to do their own thing without carrying for others. But things change when Mia and Sebastian meet, for they tell us that there are people worth living for.
I want to praise the story, for it is truly touching and relatable, even if it deals with people that are more talented than the average. It doesn’t make you feel like this could only happen to important, talented people, but makes you feel in the same position as the characters are in. It never feels out of this world. But most of all, I want to praise the magical music and the beautiful photography (yes, I am looking at you “Moonlight” … you didn’t deserve that Oscar). It truly has a very original vibe, with all those colorful moments and sceneries, changing the stations of the year and of a relationship. The feeling and flow that this movie has is truly unique and makes perfect sense as to why it caused so much noise back in 2016 and 2017.
Now, I want to mention the very iconic moments of this movie, but I don’t want to tell much of the story so that you can watch it with blissfully ignorance, I want to warn you that there will be spoilers from now on.
I love how they make the movie work, how they connect the main characters, it isn’t conventional and, in a way, it even feels kind of funny. Two guys who met under difficult circumstances (meeting on the road doesn’t count as meeting, I’m talking about the moment when Sebastian gets fired and Mia is looking) end up falling in love because of their negativity and mutual feelings of not being able to make it in life. Their chemistry is somewhat interesting, since they pretend like they don’t like each other, but he keeps on trying to meet her one way or another. It makes everything romantic, but not in a cheesy way, more original and circumstantial. At the end of the day, they become your favorite couple ever, because of the way they are, the way they act around each other and the supportive negative vibe they always carry around. This is key, in order to make this movie work. It makes you feel more heartbroken for a possible break up. But the movie is not about romance, or finding the love of your love, it is more complicated than that. This movie is about decisions, more specific than that, about making the right decisions.
During the summer of this story, we start to see everything moving very fast and you get introduced in their love in a few minutes of music and dancing. Making this the fastest love story ever. Because in those few minutes you find them to be more in love with each other than most movie sweethearts in the entire hundred minutes. But very soon you get the problem, the difficult decision. You see from Sebastian’s point of view how he thinks that Mia thinks of him, he thinks that she is disappointed on the fact that Sebastian doesn’t have a steady job or a good house, he thinks that he isn’t enough, and that is how he ends up taking a job he doesn’t want, for money he needs. This triggers the whole purpose behind making this movie, since the audience knows from the beginning that that job is not Sebastian, and next to Mia, we all wish he would drop it, but it is necessary that he gets to see what this job is doing to him.
We know that this whole job triggers the problems, their break up and the inevitable ending. But I want to talk about what this means. I have heard from many people that they didn’t like the movie because Mia and Sebastian don’t end up together, as if that would make the movie good. Well, everyone knows that life is not like movies, you don’t break up with the love of your life to get back to them after a few weeks, in real life, you break up and that is it. The only thing you have left are regrets, hopes, prayers, shredded expectations. That’s what this movie tries to say with not bringing them back together, it breaks the stereotype of always fixing what got broken, but you can’t put the pieces back together in real life, and it hurts, because if at the moment that you watch this, you are dating someone, you will watch it to the end and think, “Good thing that that is not my case, good thing that my current boyfriend or my current girlfriend is Mia or Seb but without losing them. I’m glad that he/she will be with me to the end, because we both know what we want, right? I mean, I hope I’m right.” Those few seconds of uncertainty make this movie so awesome, because you just saw the most perfect couple not making it at the end, and you end up wondering if you could be doing something that could cause your relationship to fail, just like what Seb did.
This movie is beautiful in many ways, the music, the acting, the choreography, the colors, but the most beautiful thing about it is that it gives you the most perfect example about life and how you are responsible to make things work, they already gave you the what could have happened if he had stayed with her, but you won’t get that. Treasure your significant other, if you love her/him, think about her/him when you decide something, when you decide your future. You only get one chance.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review. Tell me what you think of this movie. What was your reaction? I’m planning on reviewing with more spoilers some of the movies that I consider to have controversial content or complicated context, what do you think?
What should I review next? Tell me in the comment section below.