I’ve been struggling to describe my love for La La Land. Not anymore (after watching it for the 3rd time, sorry not sorry).
WARNING: SPOILERS! If you haven’t seen the film, go watch it and then come back to this post.
You know how the ‘perfect relationship’ is meeting the right person at the right time? La La Land is the right film that I’ve met at the right time.
Nothing is perfect in this world, just like there is no perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, a perfect film does not exist.
Every film has its criticisms, and La La Land is no exception. Not representing the full picture of LA, not having black actors as key roles in a jazz film, and the music not being proper jazzy enough…I guess they all make sense. But my first impression was…isn’t it nice to have such a big musical film in Hollywood…?
But then I later realise that the film means so much more to me than the music. And yes the music is bloody amazing. ❤ ❤ ❤
So what makes La La Land the right film for me?
I had an entire module studying LA’s urban and social geography at that time, and just 3 weeks after I watched La La Land for the first time at the cinema, I boarded my flight to LAX for our field trip, and I stayed in LA for 2 weeks. So I did witness a lot of the things that were not included in the representation of LA in the film (just like pretty much all the films and TV shows, they only show Beverly Hills or the beaches, not saying it’s the right thing to do but let’s not start a human geography essay here).
I sort of call myself a musician (I mean for heaven’s sake I started learning the piano when I was 5!), but I got away from music for around 2-3 years since I started uni. I thought about getting back to it, but it just never happened. Around the time before I saw La La Land, the idea of pursuing music as a career just started to appear in my head, but then again I did not know how to (believe me, I still don’t really know now). I am in the stage of a quarter-life crisis – a fresh graduate with a uni degree, and have no idea whatsoever about what I should do with my life. And we all know that doing arts/music as a career (especially in Hong Kong) is super duper difficult.
Here’s when the perfect boyfriend came to rescue.
Two talented artists among the many also talented artists in Los Angeles, struggling to make a big-break. Mia is among the many other actresses who are also doing pretty much the same things as she is, Seb is a ‘serious musician’ but his talents are kind of compromised and he can’t do the kinds of music he likes because no one appreciates it.
But they kept trying and did not give up. And 5 years later there they are, Mia the famous actress, and Seb the owner of Seb’s the jazz club.
One of my favourite songs in the film is Audition (Fools Who Dream).
Leapt, without looking
And tumbled into the Seine
The water was freezing
She spent a month sneezing
But said she would do it again
She told me:
“A bit of madness is key
To give us new colours to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
And that’s why they need us”
And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make
I trace it all back to then
Her, and the snow, and the Seine
Smiling through it
She said she’d do it again
To me, pursuing your own dreams is like stepping into the freezing water of the Seine. Other people see that as silly, so you have to persist and leap ‘without looking’. It’s not an easy path – ‘the water was freezing…spent a month sneezing’. But because it’s your dream and you would do anything to achieve it, so ‘she would do it again’. When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, others might not understand and probably think that you’re an idiot. But we need the madness to carry on, to prove to other people that THIS IS MY PASSION, I’M HAPPY, WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT ME?
So I guess from now on I will go back to music. Whatever that might be, as long as it’s something that I enjoy doing. And I believe I’ll eventually be able to do it as a job. One day.
In terms of relationship, La La Land also taught me something very important.
Yes, it is a shame that Mia and Seb did not end up together. But just like what people say, that everyone comes into your life for a purpose/meaning, Mia and Seb is the perfect example. The film showed how although the couple did not end up getting a (cliche) perfect ending, they both achieved their dreams, which would not have happened if they ended up together. Their relationship brought the best in both of them which led them to making their dreams come true.
It’s the bittersweet non-perfect ending that makes La La Land the perfect film for me.
So this perfect boyfriend came to rescue at a time of a quarter-life crisis, with the perfect music and perfect plot. It has taught me to never stop pursuing my dreams and do what makes me happy. Because just keep on doing it, and someone will eventually gonna appreciate your talent and your hard work. And it also taught me that it’s okay that you don’t end up with the seemingly perfect person. Because you must have learned something through the relationship. And you don’t have to be together to love each other.
AND THE MUSIC IN THE FILM IS SO PERFECT. It’s been 5 months since I watched the film, and I still listen to the soundtrack EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
For the people who laughed at me when you saw me sobbing like an idiot…now you know why. It’s ok if you STILL think I’m crazy.
For the fellow fools who dream, I hope you’re doing what you love.
Let’s come back to this post in 3 years and see what has life done to me.
Image credit: [https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MmKlaGpmYig/maxresdefault.jpg].
All GIFs from GIPHY
As always, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. You don’t know how much it means to me!
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