Lost in La La Land
Sunday was truly the day of all things Sam. I turned 37, my blog turned 1, and it was Oscar Sunday ...my absolute favorite night in Hollywood. I wanted to incorporate all three occasions into my celebration and I wanted them to really be equal highlights of the day. And I am pleased to inform you Sunday was perfect. Every detail, every single thing was JUST perfect. I knew I wanted a La La Land themed party.
After seeing La La Land I immediately fell in love with it (and not JUST because Ryan Gosling is in it) and I am not a huge musical fan so I had my doubts. That opening scene with the bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on the 105 and 110 makes me so happy. This film grabbed me in such a way, especially the beauty in the unconventional ending..that ending that almost everyone I know hated. (Okay guys..I have some spoiler alerts here if you have not seen the movie yet.) So either read on or go see the movie right away and then come back!
I will also be sharing lovely photos from my party taken by the lovely Samantha Smith. I must also give Hodges Bend & The Parish and their team a huge round of applause. They were the perfect place to host a private event. They were incredibly attentive, helpful, and just made my event the best that it could be from start to finish. I never once worried about anything and my guests were even raving about how great they made the party! I also need to rave about Fox Fête for providing me with all of this lovely party decor. Everyone was obsessing over all the banners! I mean "Shake Dat Brass" and " Back That Jazz Up" and " Hot Damn. It's My Birthday" ..how can you go wrong?! They are based out of New Orleans and they are the funnest stone cold foxes I know. Their party decor kits are beautiful, fun, and they can really work with you on any event you are having. I loved partnering with them so much! I will be linking some of their amazing kits at the end of the post!
Soooo back to La La Land.....
In the final scene of La La Land, when Mia and Sebastian lock eyes across the jazz club that the latter always promised he’d open...this is my favorite scene in the whole entire movie. Mia first spots the sign she designed all those years ago, and then she sits to listen to Sebastian play their theme. (gosh I love this theme..find it on my playlist here.) As soon as he begins, the film switches to a dream ballet of everything we’ve seen up until that point, only with a few vital differences. Mistakes weren’t made and betrayals weren’t enacted. They are blissfully in love and, following Mia’s successful audition for a job in Paris, the couple move there together to begin a life. In other words, we get to see our initial expectations play out - including a key shot shown in the trailers that doesn’t pop up until now - before a harsher reality sets in.
We see all of this represented by dance sequences, shadow plays and home video-style recreations of the life not lived. The music ends, Mia gets up to leave, and the pair share a knowing smile.
It’s one of the most beautiful depictions of regret mixed with closure that I’ve ever seen in my life - one look a perfect distillation of what could have been, what was and what is able to be now because of it. I can relate to how it explores what happens when two creative people "lost in the clouds so-to -speak" collide before they’ve found individual success and purpose. Being a creative, I so understand this. I was once married to a creative and it didn't work. We were both looking for our success and purpose and my dreams got put on the back burner so he could fulfill his. I was resentful. So I look at Mia and Sebastian and the ending that Damien Chazelle created and I think it can be a happy ending if people will allow themselves to see it from a different perspective. You just have to remove love from the equation to not see it as a sad ending. Looking back at the major themes of this film, the big drive for both Mia and Sebastian is to follow their dreams and make the big time. Even "Another Day Of Sun" sets up this tone in its lyrics, with tales of leaving home to strike it big, leaving that person you always loved seeing you up on that big screen. Since La La Land's pair of lovers both wind up making their way to their respective dreams, the mission is accomplished. Sure, there was a failed romance that kinda/sorta propelled them to where they are now, but that's the price they paid to get to the big leagues. They worked hard, it paid off, and now they're free to ply their trade. Both got what they wanted out of life and were happy for one another even if they could not be together.
Musicals are uniquely positioned to explore the unsaid things between two people, and La La Land makes the most of this with recurring musical themes spread throughout the film. The dream ballet - a classic cinematic musical convention - is designed to sum up the entire experience of Mia and Sebastian’s relationship without so much as a word uttered, so that they can finally let it go.
No matter what most Hollywood fare might tells us, or all those Disney movies we watched as children, we don’t all get the picture perfect happy ending, the fade to black, the happily ever after. Most of us settle for some form of happiness and contentment that comes amidst the chaos and uncertainty, and those only come through a series of beginnings and endings. All of those bits in between are what make us who we are. The rest is reprogrammed into those rose-tinted memories in the back of our minds or etched in our hearts. The final moments of La La Land send a clear message: while coming together can surely result in beautiful music, the solos are worthwhile on their own. And I am the biggest fan of this!!!
La La Land ultimately is not about Mia and Sebastian's romance for me. The real romance was with the shimmer of dreams. In a movie that is in love with the past, that was the most amazing thing it portrayed.
Even though La La Land did not get their happy ending on Sunday night....(my goodness..just when I thought I have seen it all) perhaps it was still a happy ending watching Moonlight win best picture. I actually wanted Moonlight to win so I got my happy ending. And Sunday really was a happy ending for me celebrating my last birthday here in the states with all of the people I love under the clouds, including Lin's sweet mom Jan.
We had the soundtrack, the red carpet, cake and cookies, brunch, and all that gorgeous decor! (Thank you for my clouds Amanda Bivens) And we had the signature cocktails..The Go French Yourself 75 and the La La Mosa's. Hodges also made a delish brandy punch that got me into a little too much trouble. BEST PARTY I have ever thrown actually! There were even Oscar swag bags for my guests with their own Oscar Ballot, some microwave popcorn, and some chocolates for their Oscar viewing night. Bummed nobody got a photo of those!
What did you think of the ending of the film?!
Shop all of the amazing stuff from Fox Fête now for your own events coming up! You will be soooo glad you did!
And cheers to everyone pursuing their dreams..,with the one they love or solo....