The last time I went to the pictures was to see Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines in 2003.
The time before that was a midnight performance of Terminator 2, Judgement Day having been fed up with the number of ‘children’ in the audience for an earlier showing in 1991.
I was invited to attend a viewing of La La Land tonight, which has been in the headlines over here but to be honest, I hadn’t taken a lot of notice. Hubby and I discovered a long time ago that if the critics panned a film, we’d probably love it.
Some things never change at the flicks, like people arriving late and me having to stand up to let them by (5 times), those with a weak bladder who have to go to the loo half way through, and we mustn’t forget the natterers sitting directly behind you. Luckily everyone, including me, remembered to turn their mobile phone off.
Thankfully, apart from the loo brigade passing my field of vision, I could watch the film without interruption.
No intermission or ice cream break, but two hours of film to watch, enjoy, or cringe at.
I confess I had serious misgivings when it started with a traffic jam on the freeway and everyone got out of their vehicles for a real cheesy song and dance routine.
I thought Yeah, Right, I can just imagine us Brits doing that on the M5.
In truth, the road looked very much like that in one of the Fast and Furious outings, so if Vin Diesel suddenly appeared doing a handbrake turn, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
Pretty Boys in Hollywood don’t normally appeal, and although Ryan Gosling shuffles his way OK through a variety of dance numbers, it was his musical ability that knocked me for six.
It’s been a long time since music in a film has had an effect on me (What War May Bring, a subtitled film in French, English and German from 2010) and I couldn’t wait to get home and check out the internet to see if Mr Gosling did indeed play that piano. Haunting melodies, jazz, Christmas carols, and a pretty terrific number with The Messengers.
I could so identify with him listening to something over and over again, and then playing it by ear, as that is how I play. I found myself missing my piano big time.
Emma Stone is the love interest, a struggling actress working in the standard coffee shop to make ends meet, sharing a flat with three friends.
Whilst he has dreams of opening his own jazz bar, she has dreams of making it big in the movies.
As their relationship develops, the chemistry between the two leads works and I found myself smiling at their banter and sad at their disappointments.
If you were expecting Pretty Woman Dirty Dances, this is not for you.
Sound of Music or Mary Poppins? That is a definite No No.
But, if like me, you remember the days of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, That’s Entertainment and Gene Kelly Singing in the Rain, you will love this. Seriously.