La La Land (2016)
You probably know this already but...
A musical 'love story' filmed on 35mm film in Cinemascope, it's meant to be evocative of 1950s 'feel good' escapist entertainment; and it works... sort of.
Some great song & dance numbers with amazing production values, a saturated colour palate and the fact all the music is real (the entire score is people actually playing musical instruments) do not make up its shortcomings:
- it's a musical with no great/memorable song(s)
- the lovers never really 'click' (perhaps on purpose)
- the ending sucks!
Is it a love story... or a tragedy... or a tragic love story? Its none of these. The lovers give up each other to follow their dreams; so it's not a love story. However, they do get what they want; so it's not a tragedy. And, they don't die together; so it's not Romeo and Juliet.
The thing that makes 'feel good' escapist entertainment work is, in the end, love conquers all. The ending of La la Land leaves the viewer feeling hollow, disappointed and 'ripped off'. The characters get what they want... but the viewer doesn't.