LA LA LAND – The Awards vaccum of 2017 and possibly of all time, sings and dances around the Hollywood hills in the straightest musical ever made – but where are the hits?
Nutshell – A very simple girl meets guy tale in and around the modern day Hollywood area of Los Angeles. He wants to open a jazz club and save that brand of music forever, she wants to be a film actress. Cue song and dance numbers, separations and a knock out twist in the last 20 minutes. This is so old fashioned you expect Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire to appear at any minute hoofing around but don’t let that put you off.
Running Time – 128 minutes; Certificate – 12A
Tagline – ‘Here’s To The Fools That Dream’.
THEGAYUK Factor – This is as pure a heterosexual movie as you will ever see so just enjoy the musical set pieces like a good little gay boy and imagine Ryan Gosling stripped naked fingering your organ instead of his loving piano.
Cast – Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J K Simmons and far far too much of John Legend.
Key Player – Damien Chazelle, he wrote it, he directed it and it is wholly his wonderful vision. He has come so far since Whiplash and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Next up First Man the story of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon starring, yep you’ve guessed it Ryan big swinging dick Gosling.
Budget – $30 Million but already made four times that and it is still a month until its big Oscar night marketing boost – this will be very very big indeed and deserves it.
Best Bit – 0.02 mins; The opening number is possibly the greatest tribute to LA ever. A huge single track production number set on a gridlocked freeway and the poppiest number on the whole soundtrack. It makes you so happy to be alive.
Worst Bit – 1.02 mins; When Goslings character is showing for the umpteenth time how much he likes old school jazz in a group recording session where the other musicians want him to play modern music. A lot of the jazz in this wonderful film is very dull indeed and there is a reason old school jazz died out – that’s because it was sh*t.
Little Secret – La La Land won 7 Golden Globes more than any other film in history beating One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest. It is up for 14 Oscars… the most ever equal with All About Eve and Titanic. The opening freeway scene was shot on the same stretch as the famous bus jump from Keannu Reeve’s/Sandra Bullock’s Speed movie – yep they still haven’t finished building it 30 years on.
Further Viewing – Moulin Rouge, Grease, Tommy, Rent, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Once, Hairspray and any musical from the 50s or 60s on BBC2 in the afternoons.
Any Good – Yes it is very very good and deserves all its plaudits and awards BUT, and it’s a big but, the songs are at very best average and at time maudling. This is not a jazz revival and there are no hit’s here which is a slight issue for a musical. Never mind the leads are great, it looks fantastic and that opening and closing will stay with you for many months to come.
Rating – 91% out of 100.