Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

In Defense of La La Land

q2.jpg I have no idea where this quote is from. It was in my mom's little quote collection, but she wasn't concerned at all with citing her sources. Talk about academic dishonesty, mother. Speaking of academic dishonesty, I was terrified of committing plagiarism in college. I had no reason to be. I didn't even cheat on online tests like every other college student and I certainly didn't steal ideas for my essays because I genuinely liked writing them was a nerd. However, I was ducking petrified of getting called into the dean's office for academic dishonesty.

I picked this quote out though because I think it's time we finally talk about La La Land.

If you genuinely made it to September of 2017 without hearing anything about La La Land, I'm almost impressed with you?? But also, see a movie once in a while. Yeesh.

La La Land is about Sebastian and Mia, two struggling artists trying to make a life for themselves in Los Angeles. I'm not going to say that the movie's without faults (because it certainly isn't), but it's always going to have a massive grip on my heart.

I saw La La Land for the first time in my favorite city in the world, at a film festival, with a Double Double from Tim Hortons, sitting next to a man who was also at the movie alone and offered me a tissue toward the end, and I had recently decided I was going to move to California in a few months. Oh, and the theatre I watched it in looked like this:



Anyway, I feel like that was the perfect storm to see this movie. Some of the criticisms of the movie were warranted and in no world did it deserve the Best Picture over Moonlight, but I will always love La La Land. (If we're splitting hairs, there are a couple Oscars it got that I didn't think it deserved, but very rarely does the Oscar go to the person/film that most deserves it. Exhibit A: Light of my life, Amy Adams, still does not have an Oscar.)

While Emma Stone is so stupidly charismatic, she's also slightly unbelievable as a struggling actress simply for the fact that the first scene we see her cry on cue masterfully. Kinda hard to believe that she's having trouble. Ryan Gosling is slightly more believable in his struggling because he is a little insufferable. (I'm sorryyyyyyy. I still love the dude, but Seb is bit of a lil douche. WHO SHOULDERS EMMA STONE LIKE THAT?)

HOWEVER, Emma Stone lip syncing to I Ran is incredible and the scene in The Rialto is so sweet. My favorite part is when they're talking about how Emma doesn't like jazz as they're walking through the Warner Brothers lot. Specifically, Emma Stone's face when Ryan asks her what she's doing right now and she says, "Nothing." I don't know how to explain it, but the way she says "Nothing" is my favorite acting choice.

The movie's like an IV of pure optimism. And magical. So very magical. From the opening scene to the very last longing glance between Seb and Mia; it is magical. The scale and look of it is just unreal. And Audition (The Fools Who Dream) is a gift to us all. It's one of those movies that needed to be seen in theatres, though. I don't own it because I don't think this should be squeezed into my tiny laptop:


At the end of the day, La La Land is a love letter to the "aspiring" people of LA and the city itself. A lot of people hate the fact that everyone here is aspiring, but I think that's my favorite part about LA. Audacity in the face of practicality. Where else in the world are there this many people earnestly and urgently following their dreams?