When, I got there however, I quickly realized I should have stuck with my initial instincts.
Opening scene, a bunch of people singing on top of their cars in a traffic jam. No explanation, just people singing on their cars. I wait for this to go into the real opening scene, to give me some setting. But it doesn’t. The singing keeps going… for twenty minutes. Just dancing and singing sings, similar to singing scenes from stuff like “Mary Poppins.” It was actually an impressive stretch of nothing but singing, even broadway shows don’t go that overboard. And if you are wondering, no, they couldn’t explain the plot well by doing that. Finally, the singing numbers pause and we go into some story line. I started to get interested: the lady is working in a coffee shop in a backlot, like an MGM theater stage, so we get to see some behind the scenes type stuff. I’m thinking this could be cool, we’ll see a new view of the movies. But then the singing comes back, and the plot gets disjointed again.
The minimal non-singing scenes were stuff from every day, easily relate-able. Coffee getting spilled on you before a job interview. Traffic jam, with that one person who doesn’t move when the traffic moves. Not finding your car in the parking lot. And the little quips of dialogue are funny, not to me, but most of the audience I was there with were laughing. So boring day to day scene, then cut to a sing-song fantasy. I now understand why the film is called, “La La Land.”
I wanted to walk out of the theater after the first hour. This is about the point where the man and woman have connected and are a couple. The movie could have easily ended then, but it kept going. The man starts on a clique journey: giving up the music he loves to do popular bad music, you know, give up your dream to make money, kind of thing.
The ending had a twist. The couple both got their dreams, but are not together. When they see each other, the story flashes into a dream of what could have been if they’d stayed together. It’s a dancing music scene of course. Sadly, it confused the audience, because when the movie ended, I overheard people explaining it to their dates. Only half of us understood it.
So I’m not sure why this film is getting such good reviews. Perhaps it’s due to only people who are into this genre of movie, are actually seeing it. Either way, I am here to say for the common folk, it’s a flop. I like musicals, but this one was too heavy on the musical side and lacking on original plot.