Had I gone into this movie blind, it might have blown me away. But I will never know because there was SO MUCH HYPE surrounding it… and it did not blow me away.
In a word, it was… underwhelming.
That is not to take away from the originality and the talent that went into this film. As a lover of musicals, I was happy to see initiative taken to create something new and unique in this category. However, that alone is what made La La Land Oscar worthy.
While this was a refreshing take on the musical genre and an entertaining movie overall, there are simply too many better versions of young people who think they have grown up only to grow up again, too many musicals that offer better music with stronger musical talent, and too many love stories that feature the striking chemistry that we find between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for this movie to qualify as a “masterpiece.” While La La Land held its own and offers us a solid musical with an impressive cast, it doesn’t offer much else.
If we move away, for a moment, from the fact that La La Land stole many awards away from other deserving pieces, we can talk about it as a film in its own right. I will say this movie is certainly worth your time; Ryan Gosling is at his best as the troubled artist with more emotions than he knows how to manage, and Emma Stone is a heartfelt symbol of every woman who has gone off to try their hand at something impossible only to face rejection and come to recognize their own mediocrity. Watching her decide whether or not she wants to pursue her dreams in spite of this realization is so powerful and relevant, that it truly brings what otherwise would have been an overly clichéd story to life.
So by all means, take the time to see this movie, but no need to buckle up.