Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lala Leaps

Over drinks, I grumped with a friend about a book I was struggling to read from our book group. Ugh was my general feeling a few pages in. The writer is one of those storytellers that engages millions but not me so when my friend concurred, I was relieved and surprised. Turns out that having just gotten through the holidays (ancient alien practices of hometowns and family), we agreed that we prefer avoiding that reality stuff in books and movies. Instead we prefer more upbeat stories which in the moment felt true, though I do love "Silence of the Lambs," "Delicatessen," "Die Hard," and "Pulp Fiction," now that I think about it. The tenor of our conversation led my friend to recommend "Lala Land" and "Whiplash." The next day another friend texted an invite to see "Lala Land." "Sure, I hear it's a positive, upbeat film!"

"Lala Land" is in a genre I rarely watch, a musical. I got dizzy or seasick or something with the camera work zooming around to give the lay of the land in the opening bridge scene. It happens a few more times too- pool party scene, etc., but mostly I liked the fresh twist on  romance until the abrupt halt. The ending gutted me. My friend headed off to the bathroom as I sat watching the credits in some version of stupification.

We reunited in the lobby. "I can't believe that was the ending."
""What did you want, the alternate reality version?"
"No, that's not it. I just didn't like it," I replied defensively.
My friend holds open the glass door and as I cross the threshold and says, "It just shows that one of them would have had to give up their dream if they stayed together."

Bam. That's why I hated the ending- too much like reality.

I want movies for romance, adventure, heroines and heroes. Of course those movies are kinda boring after you've watch a hundred of them. Or not. What the heck is with all the remakes? Safe bets. People watch them. Some don't even get released to theaters, straight to the rental/download market. Anyway, no one in film school aspires to write the formula stuff that we like or at least watch more than we admit. The Hangover 3? Star Wars
75?

There are choices to be made in life as in art, and most of us opt for the safe ones.

The universe is priming me to do something outside my comfort zone, something arty, creative. Uncomfortable. I want to do something that makes me uncomfortable in 2017, a lala leap, a dream.