La La lame

Maggie Sweeney, editor in chief

This year, one particular title has been all over awards and nominations: La La Land. With a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, La La Land has surely made an impact on audiences across the globe. Personally, however, I don’t understand why.

I saw La La Land one weekend with high expectations, thinking this movie would be like nothing I have ever seen before. Unfortunately, I left the theater that day puzzled as to what made the girl behind me say it was the greatest movie she had ever seen in her life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love musicals and Ryan Gosling, but I feel like the same tunes were so repetitive that it made the movie drag in the middle. The music was all very jazzy which was different than what I normally listen to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the repetition of the same tune over and over annoyed me and made me hope the end of the movie was near. This may seem a bit extreme, but I much would have rather preferred to hear more of Ryan Gosling’s favorite jazz pieces instead of hear him play the same tune on the piano throughout the entire movie. Though the music didn’t meet my expectations, I know historically musicals like Chicago and and West Side Story have won the Oscar for Best Picture, so this must be why La La Land is receiving so many nominations.

Something I always look for in movies is that I leave with questions or something to contemplate. La La Land however, did not leave me with anything to think about. Not to spoil anything, but it follows the typical story line of two young adults who fall in love while hoping to accomplish their dreams which eventually get in the way of their relationship and cause complications. The ending ties everything up and doesn’t really leave any hangers. Now I’m sure some people don’t want to leave the theater with questions, but I like talking to other viewers about what we thought about the ending or anything that was left unanswered.

I understand that La La Land was life changing for some people for some reason, but I don’t see how it differs from rom-coms like Ghost of Girlfriend’s Past or When in Rome. Yes, the special effects and color scheme were very good in the movie, and I think that deserves some recognition in awards shows. However, I feel like the storyline does not compare to other movies nominated like Arrival or Hidden Figures.

I know I’m not alone. Even shows like Saturday Night Live have made fun of the La La Land craze with Keenan Thompson being arrested for his criticism of the film. If someone wants to help me understand why La La Land is such a cinematic masterpiece, by all means, please inform me, but I just don’t understand why this love story differs from others.

So this award season, you can love La La Land all you want and watch it break records, but I just don’t get the hype.