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CameronH

Musical Mondays Week 40 La La Land

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But, for me, I don't feel like they're ever really in love to begin with - there was just the potential for love. At most, I would say there is a deep affection for one another because each of them provides something that the other one needs. Mia needs self-confidence; Seb needs humility. I feel like the movie is making a point about how even when we fail - whether that's in our professional or private lives - there's always the potential for growth which makes all experiences inherently "good." This is most clearly illustrated with Mia's one-woman play.

 

The way I interpreted the ending wasn't some kind of "Sliding Doors" scenario where this could have been their life had they done things differently. Given the same chance, they would have made all the same choices/mistakes. It becomes this crazy paradox. The ability to see this alternate reality is only possible because of the wisdom they've gained through the experience. There's no reason to listen to one more song because it doesn't change a thing.

 

Completely agree

 

Its easy to say 'we should have done things this way' but their whole core desires also didn't fit well. Mia wants the world of Hollywood - filming anywhere the wind takes her, new projects, an open ended future - where as Seb wants a very specific, localized dream - he wants a jazz club in a specific spot in LA. They want to support each other, and their desires compliment each other in a way, but not really in a sustainable way.

 

I think its an interesting take on the idea that you can deeply care for someone and still not be the right person for them. A lot of movies tend to tout 'Love can overcome anything!', which isn't true.

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I'm curious what y'all think: whose fantasy is the dream ballet? Is it shared between them? Or is it just one of them imagining what it would be like if things had gone differently?

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Completely agree

 

Its easy to say 'we should have done things this way' but their whole core desires also didn't fit well. Mia wants the world of Hollywood - filming anywhere the wind takes her, new projects, an open ended future - where as Seb wants a very specific, localized dream - he wants a jazz club in a specific spot in LA. They want to support each other, and their desires compliment each other in a way, but not really in a sustainable way.

 

I think its an interesting take on the idea that you can deeply care for someone and still not be the right person for them. A lot of movies tend to tout 'Love can overcome anything!', which isn't true.

I do agree with y'all too except I'm totally in the camp of thinking he was like oh I could've been happy to follow her around and support whatever she wanted to do in life if I needed to with that final scene. But it's so interesting to me that we actually see the relationship not work out in the end because that really is what we see in Hollywood. Like there's a reason why when someone has been married to someone else for 8 years my mom will go "Holy crap that's long!" because in reality it really isn't that long of a marriage but in Hollywood that is. So we get this glimpse of a Spring to Fall romance that in our minds seems real and long and like they're meant to be, but it probably lasted all of 9 maybe 10 months max.

 

What I love about seeing movies like this in the theaters is that when it was revealed that she was married to some other dude the entire crowd I was with groaned and then laughed about we all groaned at the same time lol.

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I'm curious what y'all think: whose fantasy is the dream ballet? Is it shared between them? Or is it just one of them imagining what it would be like if things had gone differently?

I think it's him telling her a story. The fantasy may be shared between them, but I think it's like him showing her what could have happened if he had made different choices. Because all of her choices were exactly the same in the scenario but this time he is the one who changed his life.

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What I love about seeing movies like this in the theaters is that when it was revealed that she was married to some other dude the entire crowd I was with groaned and then laughed about we all groaned at the same time lol.

Her husband was Musical Mondays all-star Tom Everett Scott from That Thing You Do!

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Her husband was Musical Mondays all-star Tom Everett Scott from That Thing You Do!

WHAAAAAAAAT?

 

tenor.gif

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I'm curious what y'all think: whose fantasy is the dream ballet? Is it shared between them? Or is it just one of them imagining what it would be like if things had gone differently?

 

Gene Kelly's

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Her husband was Musical Mondays all-star Tom Everett Scott from That Thing You Do!

 

Guy Patterson was into jazz too! Maybe this is the son of Guy and Faye and Mia is just super into jazz musicians now.

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This is my main problem with this movie. Seb, moments before meeting Mia and apparently falling hard, tells his sister he's not interested in a relationship - he's too focused on building his club. Mia does nothing to encourage his pursuit initially, she just mocks him for a momentary interaction where he's rude to her. Besides some chemistry, I don't understand why he suddenly is all in on her. On top of that, he drives me insane. He wants her to live his lifestyle of doing whatever you want, never compromising your ideals, live by your art but until he finds her for her audition, he does nothing to really help or learn about what she's doing. Unless I'm missing something completely, she's not like doing plays or performing anywhere - she's just doing auditions until he tells her to stop doing that and write her own thing. But he tells her this not knowing if she has any talents in writing! I was really happy that they did not end up together.

 

I have a very specific pet peeve that this movie dials into which is probably why I didn't enjoy it too much. People that say 'don't worry, it'll all work out' about their (or whomever they're talking to) dreams, and then trip into succeeding. I have friends like this - they just do whatever they want and it always works out the way they want it to. It drives me insane. Seb is like that. He's difficult and stubborn but talented and good looking, so he lands on his feet pretty easily and expects that's how the world actually works. I did appreciate his sister and John Legend both telling him he's kind of an asshole.

 

Ryan and Emma have some great chemistry that feels very lived in. I love watching the two of them just hanging out. And I love the visuals of this movie - all those colors! But as a whole, I wasn't super into this one.

neil-diamond-lucie-arnaz-the-jazz-singer-1980-BP3DHH.jpg

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I vote for keeping Another Day of Sun but it also changed my expectations of what was to come. Someone in the Crowd also pumped up the energy but then the air went out of the balloon. I would have liked to seen more of Mia's struggles and then bring in Someone in the Crowd as her roommates' last-ditch effort to keep her going and off the bus to Boulder City.

 

It seems like Another Day of Sun was done in maybe one or two long takes. The only place I can see for an edit was after the band plays in the van. The camera does a quick whip-around and the skateboarder drops and starts going around the cars. If so that's quite impressive.

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Speaking of Umbrellas of Cherbourg, it supposedly influenced one of the big dance numbers but I can't tell which one. Is that correct or am I misinterpreting?

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Question: Why does Mia go from being excited at his concert to like really concerned? Is it because she knows he isn't into this kind of music, is it because she's scared that he looks like he is into this kinda music now and he's letting go of his dreams, or is it because suddenly there's all these girls rushing the stage for her boyfriend?

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I guess I felt like the movie was saying that because Seb was our "hero" and he kept talking about how John Legend was The Worst and how he didn't understand anything yadda yadda. But then when we actually meet John fully and hear his side of things I was suddenly like oh right no Seb is a fuckin idiot. Like opening an old timey Jazz club is a cool idea and loving the music is all fine and good, but I guess it's how Seb goes about all this that makes it seem like John is the villain of this story when really it's Seb himself because he's got his head stuck up his ass.

I took Seb's position on John Legend as seeing him as 'the worst' because he's playing the music he wants to play, and he's getting paid for it, which makes him a sellout. Clearly there's some baggage from when they were at music school/university together, and it comes down on the matter of the purity of music. It's interesting that Seb is the jazz traditionalist while JL is the innovator, so not only is he 'selling out' but he's selling out the tradition that Seb describes as part of JL's own heritage. It's interesting, though, in that in an indirect way, JL says that Seb is the worst too - essentially that his last keyboardist wasn't as talented as Seb, but Seb is a pain in the ass. Surely JL spends a little time at home with his fiancee/wife talking about how his new keyboardist is the worst too. Everyone's perception is based on their bias and worldview, and because they clash, they consider one another the worst.

 

Seb, however, IS the worst. At that photo shoot ("bite yer lip boy") on the ONLY night of his girlfriend's one-woman show, not only does Seb not say "do you think I can skip it? there's like, 34 members of this band and we're just miming", but he doesn't look at his watch or say "dude, I was here for the wide shots, can I please go now?" or "hey, I'm double-booked, can you snap a few of me and then I'll split?" Both times I've seen it I was wishing Seb would bust out of the photo shoot and at least catch SOME OF HER SHOW.

 

Man, the fantasy 'what if' ballet made me cry both times I've seen this movie because it's such a document of what their lives would have been like IF SEB STOPPED BEING SUCH A SHITHEAD. Everything else happens in exactly the same way - she still goes to Paris, becomes a star, they go to the club (I guess it's not called 'Seb's' now - I would like to propose it's called 'Shades's' and the drummer from the Oneders is up on the stage), and their lives are better, all if he didn't blow her off in the club, go on tour, etc etc etc. I never hated Seb until today. Damn you guys.

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Question: Why does Mia go from being excited at his concert to like really concerned? Is it because she knows he isn't into this kind of music, is it because she's scared that he looks like he is into this kinda music now and he's letting go of his dreams, or is it because suddenly there's all these girls rushing the stage for her boyfriend?

I took it as her seeing him at the beginning playing his synth and knowing that although it's not his kind of music, at least he's playing for a crowd, then you add John Legend singing without the band, and it's still jazz-adjacent, but as soon as you add the dancing team and the bells and whistles, she sees that he hasn't just sold out a bit, but that this is so far overboard that she knows this is going to make him miserable. I also didn't think she liked the music much (regardless of what she says later)

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Seb, however, IS the worst. At that photo shoot ("bite yer lip boy") on the ONLY night of his girlfriend's one-woman show, not only does Seb not say "do you think I can skip it? there's like, 34 members of this band and we're just miming", but he doesn't look at his watch or say "dude, I was here for the wide shots, can I please go now?" or "hey, I'm double-booked, can you snap a few of me and then I'll split?" Both times I've seen it I was wishing Seb would bust out of the photo shoot and at least catch SOME OF HER SHOW.

 

 

Also, John Legend asks him if its a problem with no anger. Just an honest "you thought it was a different day? Too bad, do you think you can make it?" He gave him an out! He could have rescheduled his stuff! They put him in a hat and sunglasses, no one would know if he wasn't there.

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I took Seb's position on John Legend as seeing him as 'the worst' because he's playing the music he wants to play, and he's getting paid for it, which makes him a sellout. Clearly there's some baggage from when they were at music school/university together, and it comes down on the matter of the purity of music. It's interesting that Seb is the jazz traditionalist while JL is the innovator, so not only is he 'selling out' but he's selling out the tradition that Seb describes as part of JL's own heritage. It's interesting, though, in that in an indirect way, JL says that Seb is the worst too - essentially that his last keyboardist wasn't as talented as Seb, but Seb is a pain in the ass. Surely JL spends a little time at home with his fiancee/wife talking about how his new keyboardist is the worst too. Everyone's perception is based on their bias and worldview, and because they clash, they consider one another the worst.

But this is why it basically took me until today to realize that the narrative does changed once Seb realizes he was wrong about a lot (although it's usually just the stuff that him and Mia disagreed with), because up until that moment where we see that Seb took all of Mia's thoughts to heart it still paints him as the one with the correct stance on things. Obviously I'm not talking about the way he treats her dream and how he missed her show for the actual worst photo shoot I've ever seen on film ever, like cmon guy that lip bite was so unattractive it actually made me want to stop liking Ryan Gosling for a hot minute. But like after the moments with John, Seb still never changes his stance on "saving" Jazz. Like what it seems he takes to heart is the fact that he is an asshole to someone that was once his friend and pretty much an asshole to the girl he loves, but at the end of the movie he's got his old time jazz club that only plays old time jazz. So in the viewers mind he is still "correct" because we don't follow John Legend after that.

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I took it as her seeing him at the beginning playing his synth and knowing that although it's not his kind of music, at least he's playing for a crowd, then you add John Legend singing without the band, and it's still jazz-adjacent, but as soon as you add the dancing team and the bells and whistles, she sees that he hasn't just sold out a bit, but that this is so far overboard that she knows this is going to make him miserable. I also didn't think she liked the music much (regardless of what she says later)

What I don't get is that she KNEW it was going to be something that made him miserable because HE KEPT TELLING HER it would be. So in my mind I still don't really understand why she is so surprised because he didn't want to go down that path until she convinced him to in order to make enough money to open the club.

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Speaking of Umbrellas of Cherbourg, it supposedly influenced one of the big dance numbers but I can't tell which one. Is that correct or am I misinterpreting?

 

The dance number is from The Young Girls of Rochefort, another Demy film. I think they say that the ending of Umbrellas inspired the ending of La La Land. IIRC, there are no big dance numbers in Umbrellas.

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What I don't get is that she KNEW it was going to be something that made him miserable because HE KEPT TELLING HER it would be. So in my mind I still don't really understand why she is so surprised because he didn't want to go down that path until she convinced him to in order to make enough money to open the club.

Maybe because deep in her heart of hearts she knows that Seb is the WORST (you can still love someone who's the worst, come on, we all have at one point or another) and just assumes he's being a smug snob as usual. She says right away that she hates jazz, but never says what she DOES like. I think she's a closet Anthrax fan, personally.

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Seb, however, IS the worst. At that photo shoot ("bite yer lip boy") on the ONLY night of his girlfriend's one-woman show, not only does Seb not say "do you think I can skip it? there's like, 34 members of this band and we're just miming", but he doesn't look at his watch or say "dude, I was here for the wide shots, can I please go now?" or "hey, I'm double-booked, can you snap a few of me and then I'll split?" Both times I've seen it I was wishing Seb would bust out of the photo shoot and at least catch SOME OF HER SHOW.

 

Man, the fantasy 'what if' ballet made me cry both times I've seen this movie because it's such a document of what their lives would have been like IF SEB STOPPED BEING SUCH A SHITHEAD. Everything else happens in exactly the same way - she still goes to Paris, becomes a star, they go to the club (I guess it's not called 'Seb's' now - I would like to propose it's called 'Shades's' and the drummer from the Oneders is up on the stage), and their lives are better, all if he didn't blow her off in the club, go on tour, etc etc etc. I never hated Seb until today. Damn you guys.

 

Do you not remember the beginning of the movie? TRAFFIC JAM EVERYWHERE

 

I don't hate Seb and I don't think their lives would have been necessarily better if they stayed together. The "what if" fantasy is just that, a fantasy. Don't get me wrong, I love the entire sequence too, but no relationship/marriage is going to turn out like the fantasy in your head.

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Seb, however, IS the worst. At that photo shoot ("bite yer lip boy") on the ONLY night of his girlfriend's one-woman show, not only does Seb not say "do you think I can skip it? there's like, 34 members of this band and we're just miming", but he doesn't look at his watch or say "dude, I was here for the wide shots, can I please go now?" or "hey, I'm double-booked, can you snap a few of me and then I'll split?" Both times I've seen it I was wishing Seb would bust out of the photo shoot and at least catch SOME OF HER SHOW.

I don't remember but does Ryan Gosling even call her to say he won't be there? I don't think he does and I'm thinking "What is your god damn problem? Scheduling mishaps happen and John Legend band is your job. You can't exactly bail on it but maybe you should. But maybe you can't. But at least tell her you aren't going to show up.

 

It also seems like the movie portrays that Mia is mildly surprised the auditorium is mostly empty. Wouldn't you, as the event planner, be able to ask the venue about ticket sales? Maybe you don't call them every day asking but even on the day of the show? Backstage? You can't ask "Ummm...I'm not hearing a lot of crowd noise. How many tickets are there? When you say 10, do you mean 10 left or 10 sold?"

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Maybe because deep in her heart of hearts she knows that Seb is the WORST (you can still love someone who's the worst, come on, we all have at one point or another) and just assumes he's being a smug snob as usual. She says right away that she hates jazz, but never says what she DOES like. I think she's a closet Anthrax fan, personally.

It's interesting that you mention that because outside of Seb and her love of Hollywood we really don't have a clue who this woman is. She's someone that doesn't like parties and worshiped her aunt's glamorous lifestyle, but what does she do for fun? What kind of music did she listen to?

 

It seems like we know a lot more about who Seb is as a solo person than we do Mia.

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The dance number is from The Young Girls of Rochefort, another Demy film. I think they say that the ending of Umbrellas inspired the ending of La La Land. IIRC, there are no big dance numbers in Umbrellas.

Thank you! That was throwing me off because I didn't remember any big numbers in Umbrellas either.

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It's interesting that you mention that because outside of Seb and her love of Hollywood we really don't have a clue who this woman is. She's someone that doesn't like parties and worshiped her aunt's glamorous lifestyle, but what does she do for fun? What kind of music did she listen to?

 

It seems like we know a lot more about who Seb is as a solo person than we do Mia.

 

She likes hot showers and listens to 80s music, I think?

 

Also, she's terrible at mailing out invitations.

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What I don't get is that she KNEW it was going to be something that made him miserable because HE KEPT TELLING HER it would be. So in my mind I still don't really understand why she is so surprised because he didn't want to go down that path until she convinced him to in order to make enough money to open the club.

She's right though. He wants to open a club but being a part time keyboardist for an 80s party band probably doesn't bring in "buy a club right off the highway" type money. He was living in a crazy fantasy world if he thought it would happen for him doing what he was doing. At least Mia was working toward her goal. Going to bit part auditions isn't the Hollywood dream, but you have to put in the work unless there really is a "someone in the crowd" moment.

 

And how much money was Ryan Gosling making to buy that club. It's in a nice enough area that glamorous movie star can walk down the street without security. They are in LA. So, just buying the club if it were in terrible condition would be what? A few million dollars at least right? Is John Legend's band that huge? That in five years, Ryan Gosling could get that kind of capital?

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