The Case for “La La Land”; Breaking Stereotypes

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(spoiler Alert)

The movie “La La Land” is a musical movie that is arguably one of the most talked about movies of 2016. It is directed by Damien Chazelle and it has dominated the 89th academy awards with 14 nominations, tying the record for the most Oscar nominations with “Titanic” and “All About Eve.” the movie is about Sebastian, a talented pianist who has passion towards jazz music and wants to save his beloved genre, he then falls in love with Mia, an aspiring actress who wants to make it in the movie industry. Leaving aside the plot and the argument whether or not it was one of the greatest musicals or it was not up to the expectations, “La La Land” is being loved and hated for all the wrong reasons.

In an article by Washington post, the movie “La La Land” is being criticized. One of the arguments in the article is about the movie being sexist, by saying that the movie was full of scenes of Sebastian’s accomplishments and failed to show Mia’s achievements. The reason behind taking this step was not to put Sebastian in the Spotlight but it arguably was to show that Sebastian wasn’t able to show up and support Mia. Besides, there are more than a few scenes in which we see Mia’s auditions.

The article also discusses racism for the reason that jazz was created by black people and the character who wants to save jazz shouldn’t be a “white savior” but someone from the race that started jazz. I find this argument reasonable but not valid, because it would’ve been understandable if the main character was black but it the same time stereotypical. Instead, the movie is breaking the stereotype by choosing a white actor which indicates that passion and race are two completely different matters and they shouldn’t be mixed with one another.

Another matter that the article is criticizing is the fact that the main characters are not professional singers. I agree that Mia and Sebastian are not exceptional singers but when looking deeper into the movie, it is evident that both characters are not striving to become professional singers and the singing parts of the movie only occur when the characters are alone in their apartment or when they are in an “imaginary world.” The movie does not only break the stereotype of race but also the stereotype of musical movies.

Towards the end, the movie fast forwards five years and we see that both characters have what they always wanted, Sebastian owns a jazz club and Mia is a successful actress. Almost all of the reviews point out that the movie had a sad ending because Sebastian and Mia don’t end up together. But “La La Land” breaks the stereotype of love stories by showing that the sacrifice they made by breaking up with each other led them to accomplish their dreams, and that not all relationships have to last in order to be successful.

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