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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 40 La La Land

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I just want to say that I’m team opening number. I think it’s important that the movie begins with hundreds of people expressing their individual dreams of making it “big” (and to what lengths they’ll go to achieve those dreams), but the movie ends with two of those people - after fulfilling their dreams - sharing an intimate and modest fantasy that neither of them are going to pursue.

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No, he said the last piano player was worse than him but Seb was more of a pain in the ass.

 

He also said Seb would be making 1 grand A WEEK, so I imagine in 5 years he had more than enough to get a club.

If he was paid $1000 a week (plus a cut of merch) and did that every single week up to and including the day that Mia walked into his club, that's still only $250,000, which over five years is a fairly mediocre middle class living. And that's also assuming he isn't spending money on things like rent and gas and food. How much could he really be putting away? I'd buy it that he had enough for the club if he was getting $10K a week, but $250K over five years (plus merch, less living expenses) means there's no way he has the scratch. I would be on board with John Legend partnering, though.

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I just want to say that I’m team opening number.

So it seems like a pretty even split between keep the opening number and lose it. I guess we'll never reach a consensus.

 

If he was paid $1000 a week (plus a cut of merch) and did that every single week up to and including the day that Mia walked into his club, that's still only $250,000, which over five years is a fairly mediocre middle class living.

I...uhhh...yeah, $52k a year is...uhhh...real chump change.

 

*cries looking at paycheck*

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I...uhhh...yeah, $52k a year is...uhhh...real chump change.

 

*cries looking at paycheck*

I realized as I was writing it that it was a bit of a jerk thing to say. My main point was that it's not enough to live on in addition to saving enough money to establish a successful jazz club. My wife and I make a pretty good combined living as teachers and we still only just cover our bills.

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I realized as I was writing it that it was a bit of a jerk thing to say. My main point was that it's not enough to live on in addition to saving enough money to establish a successful jazz club. My wife and I make a pretty good combined living as teachers and we still only just cover our bills.

I was just making a joke.

 

52k is below the median household income in the US and it's pretty strictly middle class. Although that's household not individual income, they still live in LA. That might be pushing close to functionally working class there.

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So, did anyone like this movie? ;)

At the risk of repeating myself I love 80% of this movie. I love the music, the visuals, and as much as I ragged on the characters I do admire Seb's passion for jazz.

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To answer CakeBug’s question, I liked the movie very much. The movie is both affecting and effective. I enjoyed (most) of the songs and it’s shot beautifully.

 

As for the characters, I think they perfectly embody the ciphers they’re meant to be. Taylor brought up the thin characterization of Mia, but I’d argue we don’t know much more about Seb. (For instance, we know where Mia’s love of film comes from, but where does Seb’s love of jazz come from?) I feel like this is intentional as both characters are meant to be archetypes rather than fully realized characters. We’re meant to project ourselves onto them. I don’t know what it’s like to be a struggling actress, but I know what it’s like to want something and have people be dismissive about it. I’m not a jazz musician, but I can relate to the frustration of not being allowed to express myself creatively. I feel like if we were given any more information about their characters, it would change the movie from La La Land (a place where we all can live) to Mia and Seb’s Fantastical Musical.

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So, did anyone like this movie? ;)

I mean...I did! Not liking Seb doesn't mean I don't like the movie (it just means I see the movie more as Mia's success story more than Seb's)

 

There's something I've been debating whether or not to bring up because it involves a movie I'm about 80% might be my next pick. But that's months away, so maybe it doesn't matter. Anyway, have any of y'all seen The Last Five Years? I think it might have something to do with my enthusiasm being less than it was when I first saw it. There's so much in The Last Five Years that's analogous to this movie, but that movie does it so much better (and I'd guess the stage version did it even better than that). I mean, the two movies aren't really the same, but they deal with a lot of the same themes around success.

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I mean...I did! Not liking Seb doesn't mean I don't like the movie (it just means I see the movie more as Mia's success story more than Seb's)

 

Whoa! You think this is a success story? Interesting...

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Whoa! You think this is a success story? Interesting...

I can't tell if you're messing with me or not, but the movie is definitely about Mia finding success

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I can't tell if you're messing with me or not, but the movie is definitely about Mia finding success

 

I am not messing with you. Mia and Seb achieve their dreams; success would have been if the dream ballet had been reality. The movie's ending is bittersweet and tinged with regret, not "Woot, motherfuckers! We did it!"

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I am not messing with you. Mia and Seb achieve their dreams; success would have been if the dream ballet had been reality. The movie's ending is bittersweet and tinged with regret, not "Woot, motherfuckers! We did it!"

 

That’s interesting, I feel the opposite. They succeeded in their goals but they didn’t really achieve the dream of what it could be. Reality is always a little bit duller even if you get your ideal job or dream club. I think that both characters succeeded in their goals though.

 

I liked this movie, visually it was stunning and the music was enjoyable. But I didn’t love it.

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So, did anyone like this movie? ;)

 

Yes! As noted earlier, it's still one of my favorites of that year (like, top five), even as I recognize the flaws.

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I mean...I did! Not liking Seb doesn't mean I don't like the movie (it just means I see the movie more as Mia's success story more than Seb's)

 

There's something I've been debating whether or not to bring up because it involves a movie I'm about 80% might be my next pick. But that's months away, so maybe it doesn't matter. Anyway, have any of y'all seen The Last Five Years? I think it might have something to do with my enthusiasm being less than it was when I first saw it. There's so much in The Last Five Years that's analogous to this movie, but that movie does it so much better (and I'd guess the stage version did it even better than that). I mean, the two movies aren't really the same, but they deal with a lot of the same themes around success.

I came inches from picking The Last Five Years this time around, but I love the stage musical so much and I have heard the film isn't as effective (full disclosure: I haven't seen it yet). I'm not convinced that the way that Jamie and Kathy grow apart over their five years matches the way that Seb and Mia do: the cathartic "I'll always love you" moment before Mia goes to Paris is one of my favorite parts. I can see the connection in terms of rising success, but Jamie's a publishing superstar and Kathy's a failed actress, so it's a tenuous connection, I'd say.

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(also: I'm very aware that most of us liked the movie a bunch: just trying to steer us into discussions of things we liked, since we all gleefully jumped into HDTGM mode)

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That’s interesting, I feel the opposite. They succeeded in their goals but they didn’t really achieve the dream of what it could be. Reality is always a little bit duller even if you get your ideal job or dream club. I think that both characters succeeded in their goals though.

 

I liked this movie, visually it was stunning and the music was enjoyable. But I didn’t love it.

 

Yeah, that’s funny. I mean, honestly, I feel like we’re saying the same thing but using our words interchangeably. So instead of “dream” let’s say “goal” and instead of “success” let’s say “sense of fulfillment.”

 

Mia and Seb definitely attain their goals, but I wouldn’t call it, as Fister did, a “Success Story” because there’s no sense of fulfillment. It would be like calling Citizen Kane a success story. Contrast either of these movies with something like Rocky - which I would consider a success story - where the character faces insurmountable odds, doesn’t win the fight, but finds peace within himself.

 

My point is, I don’t look at either character at the end and say, “Bravo! Great work. You did it! Im so happy for you. I wish I could do something like that.” I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to say La La Land is a Phyrric victory, but I think that’s more in the ballpark.

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My point is, I don’t look at either character at the end and say, “Bravo! Great work. You did it! Im so happy for you. I wish I could do something like that.” I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to say La La Land is a Phyrric victory, but I think that’s more in the ballpark.

 

As much as I love the Dream Ballet at the end of the film, the fact that in the fantasy they wind up in exactly the same place (Mia goes to Paris with Seb, she becomes a star, they have a baby, get in the same traffic jam, take the same exit, go to the same jazz club) felt unsatisfying to me. The film seems to suggest that with some different choices, they would be in exactly the same place but without that ache of 'what if'. But really, it seems like it's just Seb that is missing something (Mia seems very happy married to Shades) because there's no suggestion that he's with someone new. I don't think that was the place for a Sliding Doors-style alternate track, but the fact that the circumstances change but the results are the same seems a little odd.

 

In that sense, during the Dream Ballet sequence, why are the rowdy jazz crowd so reverentially silent as Seb plunks out his 'Mia and Sebastian's Theme' after he sees Mia? Maybe he shows off the intricacies of the later parts of the theme like he does in the Christmas restaurant, but after the detailed jazz that we've just seen, it feels like it's everyone indulging the owner of the club picking out a few notes on the keyboard...

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I feel like Mia is fulfilled - she seems to miss Seb, but I don't think she'd replace her current life for him. Though I think as Taylor pointed out, we don't really know enough about her to really know for sure what she wants out of life aside from being a working actress.

 

Seb on the other hand, I think regrets not fighting for her even though he got the career/life he wanted at the beginning. But I also believe that if he had followed the dream ballet sequence, he wouldn't be fulfilled either. He couldn't have had his dream club that he clearly enjoys and also follow her and their hypothetical children around. I'm not sure he knows how to be fulfilled though. He seems to enjoy being a tortured artist.

 

 

(also: I'm very aware that most of us liked the movie a bunch: just trying to steer us into discussions of things we liked, since we all gleefully jumped into HDTGM mode)

 

I really enjoyed how bright and bold everything was. The sequence with Mia and her friends, I was super into every outfit. And I really liked the actors in this movie. As much as I didn't like Seb, I love Ryan Gosling's choices. He makes me laugh with any reaction shot he has.

 

Also - if we do ever do The Last Five Years, I will mostly talk about how in love with Jeremy Jordan I am. Just a warning.

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If he was paid $1000 a week (plus a cut of merch) and did that every single week up to and including the day that Mia walked into his club, that's still only $250,000, which over five years is a fairly mediocre middle class living. And that's also assuming he isn't spending money on things like rent and gas and food. How much could he really be putting away? I'd buy it that he had enough for the club if he was getting $10K a week, but $250K over five years (plus merch, less living expenses) means there's no way he has the scratch. I would be on board with John Legend partnering, though.

My poor ass: My god $250,000 is a lot of money.

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So, did anyone like this movie? ;)

I loved it! It obviously has its flaws but I think there is a big reason why the hype was so loud!

 

My question: Did anyone think this was worthy of Best Picture? Or was Emma worthy of Best Actress?

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Yeah, if I haven't made it clear yet, I really love this movie. Regardless of its flaws, this may well be in my top ten all-time.

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CakeBug, I legit almost picked The Last Five Years last time as well. It's been sitting in my Netflix queue for quite some time but I've been waiting to watch it for the first time with all y'all. But then Fister made that wild review of J&TP and my decision was made lmao.

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He saved a ton of money by not eating out and meal planning at home.

A commercial for Blue Apron?

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He saved a ton of money by not eating out and meal planning at home.

A commercial for Blue Apron?

Sorry for the double post.

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