Photo: Summit Entertainment
Unless you’ve closed yourself off from the outside world like I usually do — unless my translucent skin is in dire of need of some vitamin C, chances are that you’ve heard of La La Land. It’s the modern day musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone — a film that reeled in 14 Oscar nominations. And yes, I know that doesn’t mean a lot since Three 6 Mafia will have “Oscar Winners” on the collective tombstone I’m sure they will share, but I bought into the hype. And guess what? The hype is real. I dropped the ax I don’t own, put down the raw meat I wasn’t eating and saw this movie. And of course, I will admit that I enjoyed it. Quite a bit (a lot).
And you did as well.
As much as you enjoy showing off your chest hair and reminding everyone how much beer you can chug so that you can distract yourself from how horrible your favorite sports team is, it’s OK that you also enjoyed this movie. It really is. Your grandfather won’t quietly judge you from his antique chair. Your girlfriend won’t have her concerns. Your friends will tease you about it, but will probably quietly hum “City of Stars” to themselves while they shave. Speaking of.
Feel free to punch a wall a few times. Listen, you want to watch Die Hard to feel better? Go for it. But does John McClane know how to play the piano? Does he have aspirations to own a jazz club in this day and age? Of course not. Can he be all whimsical and charming all while tap dancing? I honestly don’t know, but he’s a talented fella, so who knows.
It’s time to stop being afraid that you will lose your “man-card” because you like a movie where some people sing to express how they feel. You sing to express how you feel when you belt out some notes in the shower. And while sitting in traffic. And while fondly remembering all those System of a Down tees you had in high school. But now you can sing this whole soundtrack to yourself like I’ve been doing since I saw this film. And guess what? My family jewels are still attached. I know, I’ve checked. Too many times.
The opening scene alone is enough to have you questioning whether you’ve loved musicals all your life or if you’ve just loved the thought of breaking out in song and dance during awful traffic. You know, after your rage subsides. Just listen to this opening tune.
Now tell me your shoulders weren’t gyrating to this jingle. Tell me.
You can even chew on your tobacco and caress your gun afterwards if you want — whatever you need to do to convince yourself you’re still all man. Go to the shooting range. Handle a crocodile. Have your friend punch you in the face. Watch The Wire again. Get lost in the woods and drink your urine. Sleep inside a dead horse. Do what you please, but just know that you can openly love La La Land, and any other movie that decides to sing rather than speak.
And besides, what else are you supposed to watch while waiting for Hamilton tickets to become available in 2019?