As awards season approaches, the hype of certain films can exceed the amount of acclaim and accolades a movie can get, causing high expectations for a viewing audience.
None has been under such scrutiny more than “La La Land,” the runaway favorite for 2017, winning many local critics’ awards, seven Golden Globe awards, and a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations. With so much praise, many wonder if the film is being over-hyped in a less competitive Oscar year.
Possibly so, but instead of comparing it to the entirety of film history, we should be asking ourselves: is “La La Land” good enough to miss your cousin’s wedding entirely for? Most likely yes.
To the person reading this, I probably do not know you very well. However, I can assure you that you will experience more joy and triumph from “La La Land” than from your cousin who you probably do not know too well. The ceremony will be boring, the reception will take hours, you won’t be able to eat because the couple will take two and a half hours. It will be an ugly mess.
“La La Land” is a sweet, charming musical about ordinary people singing ordinary songs, dealing with love, dreams, regret, compromise and rejection, and that’s all in the final five minutes. It may not be the greatest film of all time, but if we judge all films by that parameter, all but one film (“Singin’ in the Rain,” 1952) would fail to such high standards.
Every February, we scrutinize every film that’s nominated for awards. We should not compare films to the awards they receive, but instead to weddings we may or may not want to attend. Now, there may some weddings you want to attend, like a close friend or your favorite child, but for your boring cousin, “La La Land” is the film for you.