Wednesday 1 March 2017

La La Land - comedy of errors

So apparently La La Land is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the only time it made me laugh was when I heard about the fiasco at the Oscars. In fact, I was cringing throughout the whole movie and I kept screaming (in my head),"There are so many talented actors and actresses who can actually sing and dance (like those in the opening sequence), why did they have to choose these two?!?!" Well, the answer's pretty obvious, isn't it? They needed these pretty faces with BIG NAMES to sell the show! But if that was all there is to it, then I wouldn't be offended. The real problem was that they were also trying to sell something else!

Various other writers have already said their piece about the movie: here, here and here. So I'm not going to repeat the same points. I'm just going to unload my own grouse about it. I am offended because the film tries to sell us real art (authentic, unadulterated jazz and improv theatre) using the vehicle of a banal musical-wannabe where neither is the music soulful nor the acting convincing. To me, that is as offensive as trying to sell golf using sex. True art does not need a patronising nod from the commercial, shallow world of entertainment to prove its value.

I'm also offended because it sells the idea that living (and consequently sleeping) together is to be expected once you fall in love. There was no discussion or hesitation, no questions asked! You love each other, so you live together, then you can conveniently have sex whenever you want. But I must be fair, La La Land isn't the only movie that promotes this way of thinking. It's only one in a whole plethora of films and stories that are changing cultural norms for the worse (in my opinion).

Finally, I'm offended that it sells the idea that breaking up is easy to do. It's never easy and always painful, even years and sometimes decades later. It sets the stage for young people who launch into relationships without thinking of the possible consequences, when they should be thinking twice about whether they are ready for long-term commitment and whether the potential partner is the right one for them. (I've written about being equally yoked some time back.)

Ok, that's enough complaining for now. All this is giving me indigestion but I'm glad I got it out and hopefully I don't have to keep brooding on it anymore.

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