Movie Review: La La Land – Is it worth the hype?

Musicals are a polarising genre. Either you love them and everything they entail, or you’re wondering why people are wasting their time saying the same thing over and over again.

La La Land has pulled a ton of oscars and golden globe awards. Emma Stone was the single white person to get a best actor award because there’s actually no way you can compete with Fences and Moonlight. Moonlight in particular, holy shit. What a movie.

La La Land has been described as a “Hollywood Handjob” by the Honest Trailers guys, and it’s true. The film follows two people trying to make their way in showbiz. Ryan Gosling is a Jazz connoisseur who wants to save the genre by opening his own club. Emma Stone is a waitress wanting to become and actress. It’s cynical in the way only post modern musicals can be.

The film is two hours long and wanks on far longer than it needs to. Cut a half hour off and you’d have a tight, fun film.

The cinematography was great, and early dance numbers were particularly clever in their use of moving through time and giving you an idea of how the encounters are going. The film also has a major for boner for murals which, when they’re not being panned across, are being trollied in front of the camera. I thought it was a cool touch though, and gives the film a unique fingerprint.

The film also does the classic Wayne’s World ending because it realised people didn’t come to this movie for a downer.

However, can it bridge the gap to people who don’t like musicals? Eh, not really. It made me want to buy a piano though. Also take a shot whenever Ryan Gosling does an over the top surprised motion. It’s like watching a cartoon.

Overall, watching this film made me want to rewatch Whiplash, an unrelated but far superior film. In short, go watch Moonlight, Fences, and Whiplash. Great films.

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Izak Flash
Entertainment writer and illustrator. He holds the conch, so he gets to speak. Send him abuse on twitter at @Izak_Flash