Friday, February 17, 2017
Perhaps I should begin by saying that I didn't go into town to see La La Land. I went to see Manchester by the Sea. However, something unavoidable got in the way and by the time I got to the cinema, the only film that fitted in with my train home was La La Land. And as it was a dull February day I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
Now I've seen it I still don't know what all the fuss is about. If this is the writer-director's homage to old time Hollywood musicals, he either hasn't seen enough of them, or he just doesn't have what it takes to create an homage. I could have lent him my collection, if he'd asked.
Firstly, the film was too long. After the first half hour I was wondering if I should check the timetable for an earlier train. Then it got going. But...
Singing and dancing are surely central to a Hollywood musical, but neither of the leads have more than mediocre voices, and as for the couple's dancing!!!!!!! (and I am a woman who despises exclamation marks.) I could have done that dancing. Any tap class beginner could have done that dancing. The choreography was uninspiring and hopelessly basic. It was dull. It was milk sop stuff. Yes, you could infer I was disappointed.
The acting was terrific, and I liked two of the musical numbers - City of Stars and Audition. For me, Audition was the best part of the whole confection. Hmm...I also liked the what if sequence at the end of the film. That was good. And the whole film was certainly more entertaining than standing in a field in driving sleet waiting for murmurating starlings that don't arrive.
But what's going on with the ending? This was surely a rom-com. The couple said they would always love each other (quite convincingly too.) Then five years later she is happily married to someone else and has a child. Is this the only bit of reality to invade the story? That people who are single-minded enough to achieve their dreams in showbiz can't stay faithful and committed to someone who they say they will always love?
Enough. I need to get back to rereading Billy Mernit's Writing the Romantic Comedy. He talks such good sense.
Posted by Sue Hepworth at 7:28 am