I LOVED this movie. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did because looking at the plot, it seemed like any other romantic comedy but with a musical supplement. But, I'm a sucker for three things... anything vintage, Ryan Gosling, and musicals. Yet that doesn't begin to describe why this movie was so amazing.
First off, I saw it twice. By accident. The first time, I got about half way through with my parents and brother when the fire alarm went off in the movie theater causing everyone to evacuate (ironically because the same thing had happened a couple minutes earlier in the movie... I thought they were breaking the 4th wall). When I finally got to sit through the whole thing, I didn't think much of it. But that's because I hadn't finished it...
The ending... AND LET ME PUT A MAJOR SPOILER ALERT RIGHT HERE... tore me up inside, but I left feeling satisfied. Now, many people have extremely different reactions to the two main lovers not ending up together. Naturally, you'd think I would be upset, like most are. I had a couple of friends sobbing and me on the verge of tears as well. But, when Sebastian and Mia smile at each other before they part ways for the last time, I wanted to cry because I felt so good. It was so REAL. And better yet, Mia and Sebastian both got what they dreamed about when they were together: Mia was a famous movie-star and Sebastian owned his own jazz club. They put themselves first. That's why I loved it so much.
It would have been easy to have one huge number in the end where they leap into each other's arms (which, technically, they did). What isn't easy, but is so more realistic, is them not sacrificing the world for each other. After seeing the montage of "what if" moments, but then them coming back down to reality, it was as if they had been in each other's lives for specific purposes. They both fulfilled those roles and neither of them would be where they only used to dream of without Mia walking in and seeing Sebastian play that first time.
I think the reason I loved it so much and felt so invigorated after seeing it was because it didn't sacrifice reality for fake joy... it's a gimmick. Watching them get together at the end just isn't real life. But instead of depicting the fate of their relationship as the end of the world, the movie emphasized that it's not. They both were happy, extremely successful, and they had achieved their life-long dreams.
In a world of pretending that reality is fantasy (social media presenting one version of a person, reality TV depicting unrealistic, unattainable wealth, etc.)... La La Land ended with reality and still managed to make it beautiful. It made me content to know that even when everything doesn't work out or go how you expect it to, you're in control of your happiness. No one else gets to choose that for you.
۞ ally ۞