Romance,  Musical

4 Revealing Reasons Why La La Land is Overrated

La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle

Date Created: 2016-12-09 00:00

Editor's Rating:

*gasp* I said WHAT?!?

Yeah, I said it.

La La Land is Overrated.

La La Land was not all that and a bag of chips.

Maybe just the bag of chips.

And let me tell you – when I watched it the first time – I would not even equate it to the level of a bag of chips, maybe a raw potato.

I was checking my watch, waiting for the movie to get good until it ended and I was like – really? This is what everyone is raving about?

This is the movie that was deemed better than Moonlight which had me crying *real tears* in the theatre? This?!?

Granted, the first time I watched La La Land was on a plane, and although I LOVE plane rides, maybe I was feeling impatient or wasn’t able to focus as well on the details.

Because I wasn’t fully able to explain or justify my dislike for the movie after the first watch, I decided to rewatch it, knowing how widely adored the film is.

So with a little more background context, knowing that the film was set in LA, knowing that it’s supposed to represent two normal people just pursuing their dreams, knowing that the visuals of this movie are highly praised, I went into my second viewing with a little more knowledge and a little less hope.

After the second viewing, I believe I can now better explain why I think La La Land is overrated while still having an understanding of why it appeals to people so much.

la la land is overrated
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are two young adults pursuing their artistic dreams in cutthroat Los Angeles. As their success finally begins to build, their romance, on the other hand, begins to break. 

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4 Reasons Why La La Land is Overrated

1. The airy breathy singing from nearly all the characters.

Have y’all heard of a diaphragm? Please try using it sometime. How are you going to sing a jazz-based, uplifting song with no soul to your voice? How?

I really thought maybe I was over-exaggerating about how lifeless the singing felt but then I heard John Legend singing near the middle of the film and let me tell you, hearing John Legend’s voice was like tasting well-seasoned food for the first time.

That was the moment when I knew that the lack of vocal quality was not that my expectations were too high but that the level of vocal talent was too low.

It’s not me, it’s you La La Land.

It felt as though the film creators sacrificed well-rounded musical theatre quality for the hype that comes with big names like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

This film could be much better, a quality musical, if they had used one of the many triple-talented artists who are incredible singers, dancers, and actors rather than people who are mediocre at everything except for acting.

2. The first few musical numbers felt so forced.

I felt as though I was watching people waiting for their cues before basking in their 15-second spotlight.

It just felt very choreographed and I don’t like feeling as though I can sense the skeleton of a film.

It’s either this world is real or it’s constructed.

I want the world to be real to me and it took me until like halfway into the film to be able to accept that.

3. There were some stiff scenes.

The scene with Sebastian and his sister felt like an actor’s workshop.

It just didn’t feel real or authentic at all.

Sebastian’s line, “I’m a phoenix rising from the ashes”, as his sister leaves his apartment…

wHaT??? Who let that line live? That line took me out of the moment.

And I tried — I’m telling you, I gave this film an honest second chance — I tried to love it. I tried to get into it. I was not actively pulling myself out of the moment, the movie just didn’t make it easy for me to get into the moment.

Also, I rarely go out of my way to watch a movie twice so you can see that I’m genuinely trying here.

4. It lacked oomph.

There were cute moments, sweet moments, but overall this film lacked oomph. That little extra something that makes a film really resonate with you.

It lacked depth.

So even if it looks pretty, and even if it has incredibly well-trained, well-known actors, if the movie doesn’t make you feel anything beyond that… it’s just not a top-ranking film.

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4 Praises for the Film (despite the criticism)

1. Obviously the visuals were as stunning as all the critics say.

Can someone please tell me how the makers of this movie captured the most perfect sunsets I’ve ever seen?

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I’m a sucker for bright colors and the costume designer, the set designer, every visual designer really really amped up the saturation of all the yellows, reds, blues, etc. in their most eye-catching form.

Everything was so sunny, bright, and beautiful.

Beautiful silhouettes, beautiful frames, like you could take a picture at practically any moment in the film and it would turn out so aesthetically pleasing.

2. Although the world-building took a little bit for me to get used to, once I got it, I wanted to be there.

I wanted to tap dance down the streets to the staccato piano notes in a bright, frilly yellow dress, and the perfect sunset outlining my silhouette in the background.

3. The music definitely grew on me.

The soundtrack is not by any means the best thing I’ve ever heard or even close to it.

I barely consider this movie to be a musical.

However, I love the catchy piano in “Another Day in the Sun” and the song “The Fools Who Dream” was pretty good because I felt like lyrically I could relate and Emma Stone finally used some diaphragm in that song.

When I heard that chest voice I was like “Ok girl! There we go!”

4. I love how both Sebastian and Mia were each others’ destiny helpers.

They encouraged and pushed each other to reach their full potential. To achieve their dreams and never settle for less.

They will forever be integral parts of each others’ lives even if they never end up together again.

I just really love highlighting the lasting impact that people have on your life.

People enter and exit your life at different stages and they all play important roles.

Just because a stage of your life is over and you’ve moved on, doesn’t devalue or lessen the ongoing legacy of having crossed paths with those special people that helped shape your life. And I thought that was a beautiful concept that the film left me with.

Some stand-out quotes:

  • “This is LA. They worship everything and value nothing.”
  • “People will want to go to it because you’re passionate about it and people love what other people are passionate about.”

In Conclusion…

I get the appeal of the love story, pursuing Hollywood dreams, and pretty images but overall the whole movie for me was pretty shallow. And unfortunately, sometimes, that’s what people want.

I would absolutely say that I am so glad that I watched the film a second time because there were a lot of elements of the film that I failed to notice and appreciate the first time.

After the first watch, I rated it as a 4/10 in my head.

After the second watch, I think I can make a more informed judgment:

Rating: 7/10

How do you feel about La La Land‘s critical acclaim? Deserved, undeserved? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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