Our generation is only aware of some of the MGM Classics though we always hear about all of them, all the time. Did you ever actually tried to watch one of them?
Their slow paces, non-existent CGI technology and old weird colors? Awww, you really have to at least watch some of them because they are milestones of the world heritage, right? Old movies are important! So, the regular folks cannot pass 30 minutes of Lawrance of Arabia and only being forced to watch Citizen Kane because someone is discreetly patronizing them to show how much they are better than them (or actually like that old movie but they are like the privileged ones, one percenters.)
So, when you are hearing out how La La Land is a love letter to the old time classics, you are probably ashamedly nodding your head like yeah they better be like this while having no idea what a classical film actually is supposed to be.
La La Land is what it says on itself as “How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.” This film is by no means revolutionary but while it is not claiming that, the entire mixing jazz with modern stuff directly applies to itself. A classic film with cell phones! Modern problems! Relatively more updated storytelling!
I asked to myself is this a periodical piece within ten minutes of this film. It sure started like a 60’s film but all the contents are about modern life. This is why a romantic musical ended up very intriguing for me. Emma Stone, as gorgeous as ever, is not a classical lead. Yes, she has the largest, best eyes in entire Hollywood and she has screen presence and charisma of a goddess but her raspy voice, her weird mannerisms are not typical, especially considering when Ryan Gosling was floating like a handsome swan and I pretty much guess this is the point. (Then again, as soon as I started to read reviews, no one actually mentioned this.) Welcome to late 2010’s, the lead girl awkwardly laughs like a boy during the best song in the musical and it is counted as a heart warming moment, the chain-smoking wife-beating leading men are extinct. Weird mannerisms and stupid reactions are hot and just like how you do it. Yeah, I cannot imagine I would love this film this much if Emma Watson was in the lead. She would be another cold, mandatory-feminist, obligatory-environmentalist, soulless robot for this role. Did I mention I love every little gesture of Emma Stone and declared she would be best Holywood star to play video games with in 2007? It is so easy to imagine her to curse around and kick your ass on some PS4 game. That feels genuine.
Okay, the theme of the film was entirely classical. Easily, it’s like Nolan films, what you do is more important than what you feel. Remember Batman Begins’ “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you” quote or entire plot of Inception yelling at you distractions are (mostly women) distracting you from what is holy, thy name is WORK? (and you can argue he did nothing wrong, he supported her from scratch and he could not watch her performance because of work, so work is the greatest excuse ever and she was not keen on her work or you can take side with her and talk about importance of that one woman play.)
While there are not too much songs that you can memorize as you would in a typical musical, (Sweeney Todd’s Epiphany, Nine’s Guido, Be Italian, Les Misérables’ pretty much entire first half, whatever Moulin Rouge covered, etc.) I am currently having City of Stars as my ring tone like every other oh-so-romantic girl and still humming that earworm of a melody.
This works, because you get to question their love, would they be poor (while they both still struggling to open a bar or become an actress) and happy or if achieving all of their goals would make them eternally happy in the end. When they are not happily singing songs together, no one ever dances around and I love this film because of it.
It feels more romantic and genuine with all its character flaws than every stupid rom-com I have ever watched in my entire life.