The Joxer Film Review of La La Land..
From the directors of Whiplash and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling comes the Golden Globe winning La La Land, a film not about a Teletubbies theme park but an all singing all dancing love story set in Hollywood..
Mia is a waitress in a coffee bar [enjoy that earworm] but aspiring to be an actress,auditioning for anything and everything and falling at every hurdle.Sebastian is a pianist with ambitions of opening his own jazz club in town but having to settle for playing Christmas songs in a restaurant or 80’s pop songs in a chessy covers band for parties.The pair of them meet and fall in love but will love conquer all or will their dreams and ambitions get the better of them..?
Set over a period of 5 seasons,Winter,Spring,Summer,Autumn and another Winter, the film starts with a “West Side Story Meets REM’s Everybody Hurts” song and dance routine that will either have you enthralled or running for the nearest exit.There is no let up for the next 20 minutes as all and sundry burst into song for no reason whatsoever only to never be seen again [hello Mia’s room-mates] until finally we get some sort of decent film to watch with the 2 main characters jostling for pole position as star of the show.The love story that evolves is an enchanting one and the references to Casablanca throughout the film give an idea of where the film is heading.
To give it credit the song and dance routines are excellently done with wonderful choreography and excellent use of primary colours throughout [get used to seeing a lot of yellow and red].The scene in the Observatory could have come straight out of Gravity and I was half expecting Halle Berry to go shooting past them at any moment..
Emma Stone is the key to this film, she is the glue that holds it all together for this film could have easily fallen apart once all the musical numbers have ended after 30 minutes into the film.She is absolutely brilliant as the aspiring actress failing at every audition put in front of her until she decides to write her own play.Ryan Gosling as Sebastian tries his best to keep up with in the acting category but is totally out-shone by her and the ladies in the audience will be uspet to know that no articles of clothing were removed from his torso,another sign that we are meant to be watching a “proper” film and no sexual glorification movie..
The downsides to this movie [and there are a few] are as follows..
There’s jazz,lots and lots of jazz,not just any old jazz either,it’s “free” jazz,where everything sounds like a bunch of screeching cats in heat.
The film relies totally on it’s 2 main stars,other people are only in it for fleeting glimpses and very short cameo’s and so the film loses coherence after about a hour when there is no one left but the 2 stars..
The film itself is half hour too long.You could hear the people watching it groan in their seats when we found out there was another Winter act.It didn’t need to be done and could have been half hour shorter..
If you hate musicals and have never heard of Fred and Ginger you are going to want to avoid this like the plague.The opening sequence alone will test your resolve..
If you want to hark back to the old days of musical cinema and the likes of West Side Story or South Pacific then I suggest you watch them instead.The songs in this are instantly forgettable and have all the charm and melody of a North Korean marching band..
However,the film does mostly work [not at all levels] and if you do like all singing and all dancing movies then this is a must for you.The rest of the world will probably watch this and wonder what all the fuss is about but Hollywood luvvies are going to like a film about Hollywood luvvies aren’t they..?
Joxer Film Rating