La La Land

One of my girl-best friend once told me: “You are the most unmanly guy I have ever met”. Punch me straight to the face, but I’m glad to be like that, as I could be sympathy like one hundred and twenty percent to this touching movie.

It, is a typical story about a boy and a girl, who are pursuing their own dream, then found each other when being busy getting out of the struggles with life. Jazz, relaxing and energetic at the same time, connected the two passionate hearts like it used to back to the 1900s. No words are written, or spoken, only the sound of melody blended the souls and that’s it, human understand what other human want to express, in indescribable manner. 

Mia, waitress at day in Warner Brother coffee shop, watching famous people come in and out with apparent admiration on her face. Failing for auditions from time to time, the things that keep pushing her are those memories when she spent all day long with auntie to watch movie and tried to replay roles.

Sebastian , talented pianist, “the phoenix rising from the ashes” as he called himself,  is trying to resurrect the golden era of Jazz by saving money to open his own pure Jazz bar, gets bored and angry with his current job by playing stupid songs like Jingle bell in restaurant, without being allowed to use any Jazz improvisation, a vital matter to say, to a Jazz artist. Did I use many  words “Jazz” in one sentence you think? Like I understood it and breath it everyday? It’s the opposite to be honest, I remember 2 times I listen to it on purpose: a coffee shop decorated with red wallpaper and many china, located on top of the hill in winter of Ishikawa Prefecture. The other one is in a concert performed by three Korean artists, which I am very embarrassing to confess, I only listened to the first 3 songs and sleep to the rest of the performance. So, no judges, it just “I like it then I use it”.

And here comes the first tear drop: Sebastian played like ordinary days, suddenly realize those “morons” did not care to hear the song, so how about a little bit of rebel? That night, 2 people realized the abnormal in the theme song, restaurant owner who have no hesitation fire him immediately, and… Mia. Uncontrolled rage turn you into a completely different person, ignored impolitely a precious compliment from a beautiful girl. She does not need to wait too long for a sweet revenge, pool party next spring, Sebastian played in a band. Despite the festive atmosphere, that lazy hands on keyboard make funeral a more appropriate place for him to be. Mia asked them to play one song (sorry for my lack of music knowledge, but I know it must be an awful song for a pianist to play), and watched him suffering. Why is it sad? Ten minutes on screen is enough to understand his desire, and what is more painful than getting stuck to do trivial things here to do for a living, while your piano sitting home waiting for new song to be written. Just look at his face !!!

Boy meets girl, they hang out, they fall in love, they move to live in the same apartment, and they have to face the big question: keep following your dream or find a stable job to care for family? Mia quit her job at coffee shop and spent time concentrating on writing her script in that she plays main and only actor. Sebastian joined a band help him earn quite a good money, but have to play that kind of modernized Jazz. Mia questioned him on giving up his dream to do such job, photo shoots comes after  tours, no time for her anymore. Sebastian wonder why Mia left him after the failure of her first play, why she does not just stand again on her knee and keep trying like old days, instead of abandoning everything and went back to live with her parents. The struggle seems to be resolved when Mia was called for a second interview for a big role, which took Sebastian a night to persuade her to come…

5 years later, Mia now has a husband, a daughter, a big house, and a big career. She is a big star now, got offer free coffee by her old shop, has a dinner with her husband and go to a Jazz club for relaxing from a traffic jam on highways. Surprisingly, it is the pub belonged to Sebastian with the name “Seb’s” (‘ is a music note). That winter night, he played a beautiful Jazz improvisation, just like the winter night 5 years ago. They each achieved their dreams, but where is the string connecting these two hearts? All those chasing seems meaningless when you don’t have each other anymore. A long flashback for what they could do to have a happy life and avoid this reality: Seb did not go to the band, Mia kept trying for audition, they had a child, no big house, no Jazz bar, no big star, but a happy life. Unfortunately, reality slams a door to your face, and the two people who could not live without each other, now just give a plain smile for a farewell.

A big applaud for the main theme song, with amazing variations, sometimes it is hope, sometimes it is a sneaky, curiousness about which steps the character will take, sometimes it is sad with slow rhythm. No matter what, it is the story teller this movie needs and deserves.

I wish, I could be a more fluent English user, so I would be friend with words and use them skillfully to express whatsoever feeling I have right now after watching the movie. The moral lesson is obvious, but not everybody knows and use it wisely. Life is tough, and you will never know what is ahead unless you suffer them and take a look back. But, it would be too late at that time for any changes. There is no right or wrong on this matter, just embrace all the experience and make the decision you less regret most in the future.

Thank you for making this wonderful movie.


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