So with palpable dread, I finally bowed under pressure to see La La land yesterday. It’s fair to say, this film has been hyped to the max and I just can’t seem to get away from it. Oh and before I forget, I’m no fan of musicals.
There has never been a moment, despite the plethora of promotion, that I have felt even the slightest interest or temptation to waste an evening watching this film. In fact, the only thing that didn’t seem ‘run-of-the-mill’ was Emma Stones quirkily pretty face, which isn’t what you expect from a leading hollywood actress. Ryan Gosling leaves me cold, so he certainly wasn’t a draw.
After 2 weeks of constant pressure, I capitulated and agreed to go, on the clear understanding that all the preliminary drinks were on my friend. After all, the only way I was going to get through this borefest was in a red wine stupor. Two (very) large glasses of red wine later, we made our way to the cinema. My friend had decided paying a premium price of £16.50 (each) to see the film in Leicester Square. Really?! I wasn’t best pleased to be robbed blind to see something which I had made clear I was attending under duress.
Having bought a giant size box of popcorn and glass of red wine (just in case the effects of the preliminary drinks wore off 1/2 way into the film), we found our way to screen 7. I sat down, resigned to my fate and 2 hours I’d never get back.
What can I say? I was already hooked 20 minutes into the film. Contrary to my fears, there isn’t really that much ‘breaking into song’ every 5 minutes and the storyline is sweet, honest and unpredictable. The characters are loveable – despite RG initial obtuseness. Relatively quickly you want the 2 main characters to meet, fall in love and live happily ever after.
Even when they do start warbling, their novice level singing and unpolished dancing efforts make them even more endearing. All my efforts not to care and just spend the 2 hours systematically crunching my way through my popcorn were thwarted. I found myself being sucked into the fantasy.
Emma Stones gigantic eyes draw you in. Her face is uber expressive and her lisp embues her with a certain vulnerability. Ryan Gosling is a leading man, but I just don’t get him and opposite Emma Stone, his acting is a bit stilted and 1-dimensional (in my opinion). Clearly this isn’t the common view point, but its the only criticism I can make.
I was entranced. The film is beautiful and uncomplicated, with a vintage ‘old Hollywood’ feel. I loved the fact that a number of the song/dance scenes were set in the studio and the simple effects added to the romance. The serendipitous ‘what-could-have-been’ section at the end, just broke my heart and I left the cinema reflective yet blown away.
Unusually for films today, there was no sex, profanity or nudity – although I don’t usually have a problem with that. It was just a good, old-fashioned family movie about love and living your dreams.
For all the foot dragging on my way to the cinema, I didn’t want the film to end. When we did finally leave, half of my popcorn remained uneaten; I’d forgotten it was even there.
I’ve seen the light! La La land – loved it! xxxx