La La Land - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

BB Updated
La La Land - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

Surprisingly dramatic musical as it turns out. 

It's safe to say i had very high expectations walking into this movie with my g/f last night. I don't think I've seen a proper musical since Hairspray (Once was actually more recent but felt well above and beyond a simple musical), so as soon as people start dancing on the LA freeway, I'm thinking to myself, "ah yes, i remember these. I need to just smile and enjoy it." and then minutes later as the back of a cube van opens up and an enthusiastic percussionist starts playing the sides of the van and an even more enthusiastic flutist starts swaying back and forth, I find myself with a huge smile on my face and I just let everything go and fell into the fun escape that good musicals deliver. 

In the end, it got fairly surprisingly dramatic (it's no Manchester by the Sea or anything) with relationships and supporting or not supporting your partner's dreams. One of these scenes in particular goes on for a quite a while for a musical. I actually don't think this is a love story, as I never really got the feeling the main characters were in love, it felt more like infatuation to me. I think Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling had more love chemistry in Crazy, Stupid Love than they do in this. 

In terms of performances, Emma Stone will likely win Best Actress but I, personally, was more impressed with fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling as he really seems to be literally stepping out of his comfort zone, which i highly respect. I thought his dance numbers were quite impressive and he was very believable as a struggling jazz pianist. I loved the little quirks he brought to his character as well (I have a feeling that making Sebastian jumpy was his idea). 

I haven't seen a movie so perfectly suited for Oscar since The Artist. I would already bet heavily that it will win Best Picture and, more appropriately, Best Director. However, this is a year I think that Oscar will get it wrong as I don't believe La La Land is the best movie of the year. It's probably third best, which is of course still excellent. 

I would highly recommend it just the same but remember that musicals aren't for everyone. 


Heart rating: 4.5 stars (I was very close to giving it 5 from smiling too much, and squeezing my g/f's hand too much)

Brain rating: 4.5 stars (I had problems with Emma Stone's character being too egocentric)

There Will Be Games

Editor review

1 reviews

(Updated: May 22, 2018)
Overall rating 


Movie Title
La La Land
Surprisingly dramatic musical as it turns out.
Log in to comment

Columbob's Avatar
Columbob replied the topic: #241778 04 Jan 2017 10:01
Dumb sexist radio girls yesterday morning, when the host said that he went to see it, automatic reaction "OH MY GOD your girlfriend dragged you to this movie!" His reply - "I loved it, it was excellent."
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #241791 04 Jan 2017 11:20
A fantastic film I can't wait to see again.
CranBerries's Avatar
CranBerries replied the topic: #241836 05 Jan 2017 00:23
So Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea are your top two?
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #241843 05 Jan 2017 09:05
yeah, so far but it's not finalized yet. I'm going to see Arrival tonight and I'm sure I still have a few more to see.

I honestly don't know how I'm ever going to pick what I liked more between Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. I thought both were pretty near perfect. At first it was clearly Moonlight but Manchester has been growing on me... i keep thinking about it. Seeing Fences really helped me cement how incredible Casey Affleck's performance was.

I wish I could do like Grud and just pick Sing Street as my favourite of the year. It would be so much easier. I loved that movie and it'll be in the top ten for sure but it was very far, for me, from being a Once.

This has been a stellar year for movies, I just bumped Moana out of my top ten and that was stellar excellent (i need a thesaurus i think).
Deleted's Avatar
Deleted replied the topic: #241845 05 Jan 2017 09:09
Appropriate for a 15 year old?
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #241848 05 Jan 2017 09:14
yes, 100%. I promise.

There's not even a sex scene or anything. When they're lying in bed together, it's very tasteful.

The relationship stuff can be heavy but who are we kidding, this is the year of Manchester by the Sea so La La Land is easy stuff. A 15 year old girl will love this. A boy will not.
Gregarius's Avatar
Gregarius replied the topic: #241854 05 Jan 2017 10:50
Depends on the boy.
Grudunza's Avatar
Grudunza replied the topic: #241881 06 Jan 2017 01:17
Moonlight and Manchester are great for what they are, but also sloooooow and kind of dreary in some ways. La La Land is pure fucking cinematic joy. So many moments that made me smile and cheer. Beautiful and creative visuals throughout, and some of those musical numbers... the audition song?? Damn. I kept hearing about this great audition song in the film, but I was expecting something totally different. That was stunning. And there was also the brilliant closing number, the opening number on the off-ramp, the sweet song-and-dance they do on the park bench and at the observatory. So great. And I loved a lot of little moments, too. One example is when there's a musical number at a party, and there's a break at one point and someone jumps into the pool, which starts the song crashing back in.

And Barney, as I mentioned in more detail in my reply in the Movies thread, you're wrong about everything you had hesitations about, so you can just go ahead and love it unequivocally. It's not perfect... it drags a bit about 2/3 in, and in some ways feels two-dimensional and stagey. But still, it's wonderful, and I'm going to see it again next week.

All of that being said, I'm also putting this in at my #3 for 2016. I'm stubbornly holding Sing Street and Captain Fantastic at 1 and 2, as they each had a little more personal resonance for me.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #241890 06 Jan 2017 09:15
I think it's my number three too ! :)

Thanks for the comments, that all makes a ton of sense. Glad you loved it.