La La Land has been dominating during awards season and is likely to continue its winning streak at the Oscars. Still, the film is full of problematic plotlines you shouldn’t look past.
A new offense committed by the film is making the rounds. It happens before we see Emma Stone’s character’s one-woman-show, So Long Boulder City. As the A.V. Club points out, before the show, Mia sends out a mass email to everyone who’s anyone in Los Angeles. No, seriously — everyone. The email in question is the kind that goes unread by editors, talent agents and PR people everywhere. Not only is the email body awful, but Mia’s sent it as a mass message. The only acceptable way to email more than two people is to BCC each of them. It's called email etiquette, Mia!
Of course, Mia’s lack of training in the art of email correspondence is small potatoes compared to the other problems in La La Land. In fact, it's a rather humorous and minor issue within the movie as a whole. The film, while great, is full of plot holes and a lack of diversity that the Academy should note ahead of the Oscars. La La Land is up for an astounding 14 awards, though the jury is still out on whether they deserve to win them all.
Vulture made the point that the film is more a love story than a musical. Except for the very end, the movie revolves around Mia’s rocky romance with Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). The two don’t end up together, but things don’t always work out the way viewers want in love stories. They are still stories of romance nonetheless.
Refinery29's own Rebecca Farley also takes issue with La La Land’s seat in the musical category. The film does, of course, feature several catchy musical numbers, but that does not a musical make. Much of the film's success is thanks to the casting of megastars Ryan Gosling and Stone. Neither actor is a singer. While listening to them croon isn't painful, it's hardly worthy of this level of hype.
Before you lose it completely, let us explain. La La Land is not all bad. It's a great escape from the tragedy that is our political landscape and so on. The real problem is the lack of substance. La La Land doesn't hold a candle to Moonlight, Fences, Hidden Figures or the other films it's up against at the Oscars. Besides featuring more diverse and realistic casts, those films tackle real and relatable issues.