While the technical execution of performance sequences are not top notch by any means, I won’t deny that I did enjoy the movie! Everyone emerged from the theater with their mood lightened and spirits lifted. The iconic sunset scenes served as a perfect backdrop to Mia and Sebastian’s quirky dance number and budding romance. My favorite part of the movie was John Legend’s character Kevin, who serves as a foil to Sebastian. They grew up together entrenched in the Jazz community, but Kevin sold out for performing what the people want to hear. (John Legend’s singing was excellent of course, but he does this for a living.) After some inner conflicts, Sebastian gives in and agrees to record and tour with Kevin’s band called “Messenger”. Sebastian sees this as a stable gig to maintain a nice lifestyle. Meanwhile, Mia decides to pursue her dream after repeated audition failures to write and perform her own one woman show, So Long Boulder City.
Their relationship set in this semi-fantasy glamorous LA life, chronicles several seasons to years and with their ups and downs. I agree with the dissent to the ending of the movie. All that buildup for their relationship (you got us invested), Mia winds up with someone completely different. At this point, both Mia and Sebastian have achieved tremendous success in their careers. Mia’s face is plastered all over LA with her new releases. She even revisits the coffee shop she worked at, and emulates the famous actress earlier in the movie who insists on generously tipping. Sebastian also opened up a popular Jazz club called “Seb♪s”. (He used the logo that Mia drafted back when they were dating.) I am not quite sure why Sebastian still needed to remain single, and obviously emotionally stirred when he spotted Mia and her husband.
Also was it necessary for her plotwise to have a boyfriend she barely cared about? She dumped like hot potato for a first date with Sebastian! Now the ending… They imagine what life could have been like if they stayed together, but then it snaps back to the cold reality. With all the escapism fantasy throughout the movie the ending doesn’t make sense to me. Anyway those are a few of the imperfections that I can’t seem to overlook.
I adore Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone respectively in their various roles throughout their careers. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash impressed (and disturbed) me. Yet, the musical when compared to my favorites in the same genre doesn’t quite impress me. Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain as a few examples. Even most Disney Musicals (Frozen, Mulan, Moana, Little Mermaid). I would consider this more of a romantic-comedy than a musical in terms of enjoyment. I’m ready now for the dissent to the popular opinion.
Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★1/2