This evening we went to see La La Land, followed by dinner at (appropriately) the Lalla Grill. I liked the movie: much of it was "spectacular" in the true sense of the word, with the big set performances, the beautiful photography and costuming, the over-the-top "reality" of a musical. LA as a main character, perhaps the main character, was fetching. I enjoyed the jazz and the singing and dancing, and did not mind (as some reviewers did) that the performers weren't superb but just sort of normal. Talented normal, but normal. I can always look at Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone was fine. But something about the movie left me feeling irritated: the ambivalence of the ending—even to the extent of it being sad happy (or was it happy sad?); the characters' one-dimensionality. I felt disoriented on personal details much of the time (like, what happened to her roommates?). The movie was so zippy. And the central values embodied in the central stars' dreams—cliché, sentimental, inorganic. So yeah, I liked the movie, and I'm glad we saw it on the big screen. But I didn't love it.
And darn it, Moonlight left our local theaters before I got a chance to see it, so I guess I'll have to wait to see that one on DVD.