For months, I have been hearing nothing but great things about "La La Land". Great things like; "It's the best film of 2016", "Ryan Gossling and Emma Stone are phenominal", "It's a great movie that's a throw back to Old Hollywood Musicals", and "It's a great film, I was smiling by the end of the film". When the movie came to my city, I went to see it with my mom, because I am a good son and she loves Old Hollywood movies. When the movie ended, I left the theatre disappointed. I thought it was good, but had a lot of problems. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the movie is just okay.
Does it deserve the seven Golden Globes? Well, no. In all actuality, I think it deserves one or two. So, what exactly is my problem with the film? Well, I think the film has pacing issues in the second and thrid acts of the film, no memorable songs, Ryan Gosling, and the choices made by some of the characters.
I don't have an issue with Ryan Gosling as an actor. I think Gosling is great in some roles like "The Nice Guys" (Which he deserves more recognizition for), "Crazy, Stupid, Love", and "Remember the Titians" among many other films. In "La La Land", Gosling isn't really that great. I didn't feel like Gosling couldn't sing or dance, which is a shame for a movie trying to be a throw back to older musicals like "Singin' in the Rain". Gosling is an okay singer and dancer, as well as his acting. It shows that him and Stone have great chemistry, but Gosling acts like he is something like "Pace Beyond the Pines". It felt like his character was made for someone else, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt has proven on many occassions that can sing and dance, as well as act.
It didn't help that Gosling's character is extremely unlikable. Gosling's character wants to bring back Jazz for the modern age. His character joins a Jazz Band, but it's a modern Jazz Band. Making him doing it for the money, but not from his heart. From the beginning, Gosling is that hipster that you see and make fun of. There is nothing new about this character. In something like "Whiplash" had a character who loves jazz, but it drove him crazy to become perfect.
For me, the film stopped being a throwback to Old Hollywood Musical at the start of the second act and contiuned into the third act. It felt like another Oscar Bait Movie. The movie dragged on for a good hour after the first hour was so increadble. The second and third acts felt like everything didn't feel urgent, unlike the first act where the minor things were urgent. It felt like the movie stopped being a throwback movie and started becoming the director's previous film, "Whiplash". Which is a shame, because I loved "Whiplash" and thought that the pacing was the best part of the film. It stopped being a throw back musical, and be something like "Sing Street" or "Begin Again". Where it's kind of a musical, but's about music. Those films work for it's pacing and story, but not for "LA LA Land".
The film could have also ended after the song "Audition". It felt like a beautiful ending to the film not knowing what is next for the characters. But it cuts to five years late to amount to an ending to a film that just ends. Which, I hate in film. Where the movie just ends without explanation. Even though it had a kind of a neat throwback to "Singin' in the Rain", it lead to nothing.
In a musical, even ones that I don't like, there are many songs I can at least remember. In "LA LA Land", I can remember one line from one of the songs, that is the opening number "Another Day of Sun". Outside of that, I can't remember any of the songs. The only song it throws at you a lot, and a rip-off melody of "Moon Song" from "Her", is very generic and unmemorable. In a musical, you are supposed to remember a lot of the songs, but here, I can't hum a single line or note.
I thought this was just okay, but if you liked it, glad you did.