Why "La La Land" Is A Beautiful Paradox

Why "La La Land" Is A Beautiful Paradox

Can you really have it all?
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The recently released film "La La Land" is getting a lot of attention from movie-goers and critics everywhere as award season begins. I found myself being drawn to this film as well for some reason and knew that I simply had to see it. I had high expectations prior to seeing the film and I was not disappointed.

*Warning, this article does contain spoilers.*

"La La Land" seamlessly combines an extremely modern plot with old-Hollywood musical elements. The film is so unique because of this combination and because the film does not have the perfect "happy ending." "La La Land" is a film that is extremely relatable to the average viewer. The two main characters, Mia and Sebastian, are struggling to chase their dreams and to stay true to who they are. Mia is forced to work at a coffee shop because she struggles to get acting jobs, and Sebastian wants to open his own traditional jazz club but can never seem to make enough money from various piano playing gigs to make his dream a reality. These two dreamers eventually fall in love and perform gorgeous musical numbers together that are inspired by the legendary Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, due to the lack of cuts in their dancing scenes. This is refreshing to see in the year 2017 and Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, despite not being known for their singing and dancing abilities, perform together beautifully. Their on screen chemistry is clear in this film and they are the two perfect actors to portray Mia and Sebastian. However, their love is challenged and ultimately ended because of Mia and Sebastian's career aspirations. Mia's move to Paris for her dream movie role and Sebastian staying in California marks the end of their relationship. It is ironic, though, because Mia is ready to leave her dream behind when she receives her callback for the film role that ultimately launches her into stardom. It is Sebastian who convinces her to go to that callback. Without him, Mia is ready to leave Hollywood for good and is not going to that callback because she feels defeated from her lack of success. Mia also reminds Sebastian that being in a modern jazz band is not his real dream even though it pays well. He realizes this later on and goes back to playing sporadic piano gigs but he somehow eventually opens his dream jazz club. So, these two characters both inspire and allow each other to achieve their dreams but then their relationship ends because they both pursue their dreams. Without each other, they never would have achieved their dreams but their relationship came at the expense of their dreams. This is what makes this film so ironic.

This film poses the question that many people are facing today: can you really have it all? Can you have a relationship along with a family and career that you love? Despite the fact that Mia and Sebastian do not end up together in the end, the film seems to imply that you can and I agree. Mia does end up marrying someone and having a child but Sebastian does not. It seems that the timing is the issue for Mia and Sebastian along with a few poor choices that the two of them make in their relationship. The fact that the film shows a "what could have been" sequence at the end of the film about how Mia and Sebastian end up together and both achieve their dreams indicates that you can "have it all." So why is this not how the film really ends? The answer is simple: because not everyone gets a perfect happy ending in real life. The typical Hollywood happy ending in a love story is not always realistic and this film shows that perfectly. It is heartbreaking to see Mia and Sebastian not end up together in the end but it comes as a result of the choices they make. It seems harsh but it is extremely realistic.

Another wonderful aspect of the film is the music itself. The music is so critical to the film especially since there are very few supporting characters. The songs are not over the top or flashy like the ones in old-Hollywood musicals like "Singin' In The Rain." Instead, they are so impactful and emotional that they are relatable to the viewer and are essential to the film's plot. The music is what brings Mia and Sebastian together and what makes for a devastating ending to the film. The music also represents raw and real emotions that Mia and Sebastian experience throughout the film. This film proves that you do not need over-the-top songs or Grammy award winning singers to make an exceptional film soundtrack.

Overall, "La La Land" is simply exceptional and refreshing. The characters are so relatable and win over the viewer. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling give outstanding performances with very, very little help from few supporting characters. The music and storyline captivate the audience and stick with viewers days after they see the film. The film challenges the combination of relationships and career aspirations and may leave viewers feeling frustrated about the ending but, it proves that life is not perfect and that each individual person's choices lead to whatever happens in their life.

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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'The Cruel Prince' Is The Newest Addition To The Land Of Faerie

Holly Black does it again with new faerie novel.
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Holly Black is known for writing marvelous and magical faerie story. And she did it yet again. 'The Cruel Prince' is Black's newest release and the first book in a trilogy. It follows Jude, who was kidnapped at a child and taken to the land of faerie. She never really felt like she belonged there, since she is human, even though the faeries accept her. Everything goes from there.

I found the story really interesting, and it had a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming. A criticism that a lot of YA books get is that it's all kind of predictable. Sometimes it is, but I don't think that that's always a bad thing. It's just a story arc that seems to do well. Nevertheless, that's not the case here. The story was original and had a good plot.

The writing was really good! I have yet to read her other works (such as 'The Spiderwick Chronicles') but I have heard great things about them and am certainly planning on reading them. I really liked Black's writing style, it reads very easily and varies just perfectly.

I thought the characters were very well done. You got to know them pretty well and the same goes for the side characters. Not everything is explored fully yet, but it is a trilogy so there's still a lot of room for that. Next to that, the pacing of the story was also really good. Some people found it a bit slow in the middle, and I can see why. But personally, I didn't really have a problem with it. I thought it was pretty well-paced.

So, overall I think 'The Cruel Prince' is a pretty decent read. You Should really pick it up, especially if you love faeries! It's great for fans of Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass / A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Julie Kagawa. Be sure to check this new novel out!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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7 Reasons Why Your Squad Needs To Be Like the Fab 5

We all have a squad, but the Fab 5 has given us new standards.
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In case you haven’t seen it, I’m here to tell you that Netflix’s revamp of Queer Eye is EVERYTHING! Through the show, you will meet the Fab 5: Bobby Berk, interior design mogul, Antoni Porowski, food and drink specialist, Jonathan Van Ness, style and grooming expert, Tan France, style expert, and finally, Karamo Brown, culture specialist. These five have come together to create one of the funniest, most genuine, and touching show I’ve watched in a long time.

For those of you that have not had the opportunity to watch the show yet, here’s a brief synopsis. The Fab 5 visit with a new person each episode and transforms their lives through fashion, proper grooming, home décor, cuisine, and confidence. It sounds so corny, but it is soooo amazing to watch.

Bobby, Antoni, Jonathan, Tan, Karamo, if you are by chance reading this, I adore you and I thank you for the conversations you are starting. Each episode not only transforms someone’s life, but it also creates conversations all across the country about being openly gay, racial barriers, and so much more. Every single one of you has said something in Queer Eye that has touched me and inspired me to be the best version of myself every single day.

Again, if you haven’t watched this show yet, it is a must watch!

1. They are each other’s biggest fans.

Seriously, go look at all of their Instagrams. These guys hype each other up on the show, on social media, and I’d be willing to bet they do in person, too. We all need friends like that.

2. They’re not afraid to be real with each other.

Of course, I can’t speak for their personal relationships. But, look at how open they are with the guests on the show and with each other. The Fab 5 have real, vulnerable moments that all of us need to have with our friends on the regular.

3. They are FIERCE!

Just look at them! All five of them are incredibly confident in themselves and in each other. Can you imagine how bright a room would feel after this group walks in?

4. Their strengths complement each other.

Let’s be real, this show would not work the way it does if all of them knew fashion like Tan or food/drinks like Antoni. Each of the Fab 5 has a strength that is their focus on the show. They each have something to offer to the guests on Queer Eye, and they know that and don’t step on each other’s toes.

5. They can relate to each other.

This is going to sound so cliché, but you need people around you that can relate to what you’re going through, or can at least kind of relate. These men have all experienced some similar things and they can support each other better through that.

6. They celebrate each other.

They are incredibly supportive of each other, especially when one of them is having a huge impact on one of their guests. We all need friends that will be the first to raise a glass to your victories.

7. They are fun!

Watch one episode and you’ll see what I mean. They genuinely have so much fun together.

Need I say more?


Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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