Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Why I Hated La La Land

It's Sunday afternoon, the end of the first weekend in ages where I haven't had any photo shoots, quite frankly not working at weekends always kind of perturbs me although not as much as sitting through La La Land.

I love musicals, no one else I know loves musicals as much as me, I mean, since Friday I've watched Rent, Moulin Rouge, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hercules and these are just regular days of my life, I adore musicals, I actually believe that if life was a musical we'd all be a lot happier.  I can't dance for toffee but I'd be more than happy to spend the rest of my life singing my way through it, actually that's pretty much how I live, it's a bad day at Black Rock if I'm not singing...

When I first heard about La La Land I was excited, I heard the soundtrack and loved it mostly although I did have a couple of issues and they were justified when we sat through the movie today.

I don't want to be too unfair or scathing as there are moments of pure joy in the movie but - 

Emma Stone, isn't a singer worthy of a big musical, she sounds like a small baby bird and not in a good way,  when in one song where she was allowed to get loud and really open her lungs I thought she faired a lot better so I'm not sure why they wrote a soundtrack which mainly has her singing in a quiet voice.

Ryan Gosling is pretty and can dance, he looks so good but again, there are actors who would have sung much better.

The Cinematography is a delight, it's beautifully shot, the lighting, the vistas, it reminded me of some of the 1940's greats of MGM etcetera and there are some stylish, slick dance scenes which I just adored just like some of the bigger joyful songs, I mean toe-tapping, songs you can't help feel happy in your heart when you hear them but...

I hated the ending and without wanting to give away too many spoilers the movie itself has gone for a style of Casablanca ending and it did not sit well with me.  The story is bland and strung together, it's almost a not even a story, I didn't feel passion or any depth to the characters, I didn't cry, I didn't feel anything for most of it and some of the dramatic parts felt like they were almost part of another movie.

I felt the movie was choppy, not in a good Luhrmann type way but in a no fluidity to the story type of a way.  I felt almost like they'd taken great actors and put them in the wrong movie, surely Anna Kendrick would have been a better choice to play Mia and Ewan Mcgregor (I know I'm biased) could have played the male lead brilliantly, he did after all excel at old school when he was in Down With Love.

So ok, to say that I hated the movie might be a little strong but I have such huge problems with some of the things that I came away unhappy and disappointed by the experience.  Obviously this movie has been heralded a huge success by the critics, the awards and most of the people going to see it but maybe it's because they're not watching musicals every day of their life and understanding the nuances of how a truly great musical works, maybe it's because it was an original and not something adapted from the stage, maybe it's because it wasn't Les Mis, or Phantom or Moulin Rouge, I just don't know, I can't put my finger on it, I can only give you one woman's thoughts, a woman who lives, breathes and dreams of musicals.
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