On Friday we went to see one of the worst musicals that can ever have hit the screen since Mama Mia ‘starring’ Meryl Streep. Mama Mia did not just fail because of Streep’s singing. The plot was weak due to the script having been contrived around Abba’s songs, which on their own are good easy listening.
La La Land (based on Hollywood) ‘stars’ Emma Stone. When you can’t sing and you do a musical if you previously had any credibility as an actress you’re going to lose it. Plots to both these films were weak and Ryan Gosling was left to try and save La La Land on his own – too much of a task though I thought he was very credible as a pianist. The dancing, in failed imitation of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is almost as bad as Stone’s singing. It is an incongruity of genres, none of them nearly pulled off, not even the supposed tributes to Jazz and Hollywood.
It starts with a big traffic-jam with the cast one by one getting out of their cars, singing a line or two each with those capable, I counted two, dancing and tumbling over the cars. It was poorly imitative of Grease or Saturday Night Fever but that was not where the film-script was heading. It was heading into the realms of traditional jazz but did not get there either. The relationship between Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is as incongruous as the multiple genre attempts in a typical rags to riches plot.
In Gosling’s favour at least you see him playing the piano which was about the most impressive part of the night’s entertainment. Most actors are obscured by the piano with secondary shots of someone else’s hands tickling the keys.
Stone was as mediocre as the character she played. It was however her voice that let it down. I won’t spoil it because it might be someone’s cup of tea. Not mine though. Of her songs there was one she made a fair stab at but by then there was little sympathy left for her and I did wonder just how many takes that must have taken and indeed whether it was dubbed considering previous songs.
Not content with having thrown her career down the pan she has come out as an anti-Trump supporter and further ruined what was left of her credibility in this appallingly galling attempt at the classic “I will survive”. It has taken many more thumbs down than thumbs up but it should give you some idea of what to expect from La La Land.
I am not blowing the trumpet for Donald Trump who bothers me on so many levels. I fear for the environment. I do not like the idea of him building a wall unless it is to keep the US military in the US. On the positive side his policy as stated before he takes office is to try and improve relations with Russia and that cannot be a bad thing. Also he was one of the first to see that the twin towers could not have been brought down without explosives. All engineers, real engineers, know that that was impossible. So I do believe he should be given a chance to bring a proper inquiry into what happened that took us into all the wars in the Middle East.
As to La La Land – save your money.