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August 17th, 2017

Max’s View

La La Land
*1/2
A few weeks ago, the biggest stars in Hollywood gathered for an opulent black-tie anti-Trump political rally. It was called the Golden Globes.

I did some investigative reporting. It turns out that during this political rally, they also gave out some movie awards! “La La Land” was the big winner, capturing Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.

Wrong again, Hollywood.

I don’t know if Golden Globes voters like “La La Land” because it is set in Los Angeles. Or if they have a crush on Ryan Gosling. All I know is, to me “La La Land” is dull, sentimental trash.

The movie tells the story of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone): an aspiring jazz pianist and an aspiring actress. Together, they overcome extreme lack of character and charisma to make it in Hollywood by sheer force of good looks.

“La La Land” clocks in at more than two hours, but don’t let that fool you. It is a short, lightweight movie that is low on substance. The running time is bloated by the many boring musical numbers.

I suppose this is the main difference between me and the people who like “La La Land” — I was miserably bored during the songs. Every song is terrible. I would have walked out of the theater early except for the fact that I was planning on writing this column.

The darndest thing was: I was expecting to like it. Writer/director Damien Chazelle’s last movie – “Whiplash” – is terrific. And the films are similar. They are both explorations of young musicians and how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve their artistic ambitions.

Same theme, different result. “Whiplash” is intense, passionate, and gritty. “La La Land” is saccharine and shallow.

Rumor has it that Ryan Gosling is a talented actor. But I haven’t seen any sign of that. Someday, when he loses his youthful good looks, he could surprise me and start making great films like Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey. But I doubt it.

Sometimes Hollywood is just terribly out of touch with Middle America. And that can be a good thing. If they are as wrong about Trump as they are about “La La Land,” we could be in for a wonderful four years.

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