La La Land (2016)

Rejected ideas for how to begin essay about La La Land:

Why did I loathe La La Land? I was bored by it; because I regard boredom as a character flaw, that arguably makes my animosity my own damn fault.

Ryan Gosling…I hate his face. Oh god, do I hate his face. Like, I want to punch it, repeatedly, even though I know it wouldn’t help because then his face would only look more like it already does.

Damien Chazelle is a musical fascist, which might not be awful if he had good taste. Unfortunately, Chazelle writes and directs like he’s pitching every movie at Peter Travers.

Emma Stone is the real deal in La La Land. Too bad she had to pretend to be in love with Ryan Gosling. His whiny entitlement might explain why her next movie was Battle of the Sexes (2017). So at least there’s that.

La La Land’s opening number derives from and probably owes royalties to the band OK Go. Their videos are better.

I’m sure Ryan Gosling is a talented actor, but it all seems to be concentrated in his lower lip. He’s Hollywood’s go-to lower lip method man.

La La Land has lots of green. Green works best in costume and scenic design, sparingly in lighting and cinematography, and by all means keep it away from directors whose names aren’t David Lynch. With apologies to Gordon Gekko, green is not good.

Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck need to make a movie together about sad, angry white guys. Seriously, wouldn’t that just be a perfect fit? Oh, god, what am I saying…

Every time a new movie musical gets any kind of reaction, people hail it as a revival. La La Land is a musical the way Scorsese’s New York, New York (1977) was, which is to say it’s an anti-musical. There’s no real plot, the songs don’t connect to anything, and by the time it’s over you remember why you hate musicals. New York, New York had the distinction of unleashing Sinatra’s worst song on the world, we’ll never escape it; let’s hope La La Land does less damage.

Ryan Gosling playing a musical snob/self-absorbed prick/sentient quivering lip – be still, my heart.

I wish I’d seen La La Land a year ago. It would have made that moment at the end of the Academy Awards ceremony, when Faye Dunaway accidentally announced it had won Best Picture and the production team got up on stage and started making speeches and then it turned out Moonlight had actually won, so much sweeter. Better still if Warren Beatty had punched Ryan Gosling in the mouth.