Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Tra La La
We saw La La Land this past weekend and liked it well enough. The movie marks a return to theaters of the classic Hollywood musical... you know, a movie where the characters suddenly beak out into song to express their emotions, with some nice dancing usually thrown into the mix, too. It was fun.
Of course, every few years someone takes a stab at an old-fashioned movie musical, so La La Land isn't a totally unique return to the form. Another recent example is a Woody Allen film of a few years back called Everyone Says I Love You. I thought that one was pretty good, too.
Speaking of Woody Allen, I thought it was interesting that La La Land and Woody's latest film, Cafe Society, feature pretty much the same plot, or at least the same theme and development of that theme. Maybe I wouldn't have immediately noticed if I hadn't (coincidentally) pretty much seen the two films back to back, the former on Amazon Prime and the latter at our local AMC.
Anyway, both movies are about career-driven people who fall in love, then have to balance the needs of their careers and their relationships. And in the end (mild spoiler here), both films give us a kind of melancholy, "Be careful what you wish for" ending. Neither movie has a total downer conclusion (don't worry about that), just sort of a wistful, "Did I make the right decision?" kind of thing, regarding their careers and relationships.
Oh, and I don't think either movie stole its plot from the other, as both were in production at roughly the same time. It's just one of those coincidences that happen from time to time in the world of entertainment. I do recommend both movies, by the way. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are great in La La Land and Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart are equally good in Cafe Society. Though the latter couple's job was a little easier, I think, as they didn't have to periodically break into a song-and-dance number.