Slanted Review: La La Land
Rating: A solid 6/10
Literally since September of last year, all anyone’s been talking about is this movie La La Land. Everyone keeps raving about the outstanding cinematography, the moving performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and the fantastic music - they keep saying, what’s not to like? Well, I decided to watch this movie once and for all, to see for myself if it’s really worthy of all the hype it’s gotten this year. I mean, fourteen Oscar nominations? Sweet Jesus, I don’t even own fourteen pairs of underwear. (Should I own more than fourteen? Is that a problem? I should probably hit that “7 for $27” Victoria’s Secret sale this weekend.)
So I searched “La La Land” on Youtube, because I was too lazy to go to the theater and actually watch this movie legally. I was a little confused, because the movie is apparently only three minutes and forty two seconds long, and this “Demi Lovato” is credited as the director. I thought the director of La La Land was Damien Chazelle, but now that I think of it, he’s the director for Whiplash, not La La Land. I was also slightly befuddled because when I clicked on this pirated version of the movie, it was really high quality with no random Dutch subtitles. Wow, guess someone leaked this and it still hasn’t gotten taken down - it’s been on Youtube since December 19th, 2008. Neat!
The movie opens with this angsty brunette girl wearing a fedora - I like it! The music starts, and she’s sassily walking down a crowded street, singing. Is this girl Emma Stone? I thought she had red hair. She had blonde hair in Spiderman...maybe I’m thinking of the wrong person. Anyway, she starts singing along to a hella catchy tune, and I found the lyrics pretty insightful, so I’ll share them here with you:
I am confident, but
I still have my moments.
Baby, that's just me.
I'm not a supermodel
I still eat McDonalds.
Baby, that's just me.
Is this the “Another Day of Sun” song? There’s no mention of a sun. Maybe it’s just one of those songs where they never actually say the words from the title in the song? Like “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven or something. That’s gotta be it. Regardless, I don’t know about you, but I thought those lyrics were pretty #relatable. Really starting off with a bang.
Now this angsty brunette girl is walking past all of these fake, pretty people in pink tracksuits while she’s just wearing a leather jacket and flannel. The scene switches and she’s on the red carpet, looking really punk in a choker, a tulle black dress, and sneakers while she’s surrounded by skinny, fake white girls. She seems to be making some sort of social commentary about how she keeps it real while everyone else in the industry is shallow and morally depraved - wow, this is really valid and artsy af. I can see why the Oscars vibed with this shit. It really opens your eyes to the capitalist corruption of the entertainment industry at the psychological level.
At this point I was really picking up what this girl was putting down, but as a serious movie critic, I can’t lie and say there weren’t a few flaws. First of all, this girl says:
Who said I can't wear my
Converse with my dress?
Oh, baby, that's just me!
But here’s the thing - in the scene, she’s not actually wearing Converse. She’s wearing these weird black booties/Vans. Girl, you can’t bitch about not being able to wear Converse when you don’t even know what Converse are. This whole mishap made me seriously reconsider her whole authentic, down-to-earth act because clearly you’re not keeping it real if you don’t know what Converse look like. Also, while I’m on the Converse rant, I feel like that whole “I wear Converse with my dress because I’m grungy and unique” is a little stale. It’s too reminiscent of the “She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts” Taylor Swift thing. Like, that’s so 2008, we got the memo already.
Overall, besides the Converse incident, I thought the movie was pretty bangin’. I don’t really understand how a movie that’s three minutes and forty-two seconds long would be eligible to be nominated for “Best Picture”, since there isn’t much plot. But my mom always used to tell me “quality over quantity” when I only had one friend in middle school, and I think that motto is pretty appropriate for this situation as well. I’m also still unsure how this movie could really be considered a musical - there’s only one song? Right? Just one song. But it’s fine. Also, Ryan Gosling was supposed to be, like, the male lead in this movie, but he’s only in one scene for like five seconds at 1:23. And all he does is just stare at the camera and smile. I mean, I guess those five seconds were pretty Oscar-worthy, but this whole movie isn’t really about him. I feel like Denzel Washington or Casey Affleck should take home the win on that one. Nonetheless, Gosling looks pretty hot in this movie, a lot younger- he must be using some new skin care product. Good for you, Ryan Gosling!
Anyways, I strongly recommend you go out and watch La La Land if you’re into moody teenage girls singing about how they’re cool and real amongst a sea of fake bitches, and if you’re interested in the psychological effects of corporate capitalist corruption and idealism in the entertainment industry. I’d give this movie a 6/10, and realistically I think it’s more deserving of 10 Oscars than 14, but overall I understand why there’s been so much hype about this movie. Nice!