2016’s La La Land has enough critical acclaim and a whole raft of awards (though it famously only held the Academy Award for Best Picture for about two minutes), so it doesn’t really matter if I liked it or not. I didn’t actually see it for the first time until August 2017, by which time there was so much hype surrounding it that I was always likely to be a little underwhelmed.
I didn’t hate it, I just couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about. It was a perfectly pleasant way to spend a couple of hours but I wasn’t blown away.
I saw it again more recently and with expectations suitably much lower, I did enjoy it a lot more. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are generally pretty good in most things and are more than likeable enough in this. It is, in fairness, nothing short of a visual feast but it still seems to be more style than substance to my eyes. I’d be happy enough to sit through it again in the future though.
Score for Christmasishness
Aside from a scene in a restaurant, where everything looks very Christmassy, and where Gosling’s character is fired from his gig as a pianist for not adhering to his very specific Christmas song set list, other references to Christmas are more subtle. But the movie is definitely bookended by two different Christmases and the restaurant scene is pretty pivotal and replayed multiple times through different perspectives. So I think it’s fair to consider La La Land as a Christmas(ish) movie. Also it’s a musical so Christmas is probably an ideal time for watching it.