La La Land: An Ode to Dreams and Dreamers

Yesterday I went to see La La Land. I had pretty great expectations, but I was still taken by surprise at how deeply its portrayal of what it is like to have dreams moved me.

Slight spoilers follow.

This post originally appeared in [gamification] on Jan 23, 2017.

From start to finish the movie is a beautiful love song for those who pursue their dreams.

The beginning paints the world full of color, full of hope – the sort of landscape people who have a dream might see, from the moment of conceiving the dream to just before pursuing it in earnest.

When our leads move on from talking about their dreams to fully devoting their being to achieving them, the world around them and their lives change. Everything starts looking more like reality and the colorful dreamscape fades away as setbacks and hardships arise. It is the same sort of thing you might feel when the thrill of falling in love gives way to keeping that love alive in the ordinary every day life. Turns out it’s pretty hard to fit together the dreams of two people while also nurturing what you have together. If you pursue your dream with full force, does the other person need to give way? Or, should you? What’s the right thing to do? Go your separate ways?

In the end we are reminded that having dreams is wonderful, but achieving them does not come without sacrifice. The movie gives us a conclusion, while teasing a glimpse of another – both incomplete and imperfect, but beautiful in their own ways.

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