I hear the same thing from my friends-with-kids all the time:
“We just can’t go to movies anymore, unless they’re animated.”
I know the feeling, and wouldn’t see about 99% of the films I DO if it weren’t for this whole Film Critic thing. There are plenty of movies out there that families can watch together though, even ones not marketed as “Kid Flicks.” If you don’t mind sparse profanity or a few hints of sexuality, the doors will open wide to great films you’d never expect, like La La Land.
Everyone I know is dying to see this movie and having seen it twice, I agree that everyone should. It’s a love-letter to Hollywood, sent through song and dance by Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash). La La Land also stars two of my favorite current actors, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who make falling-in-love look even cuter by singing along the way. Oh yeah, and Ryan Gosling actually plays piano. Sure, you’re HEARING a studio pianist named Randy Kerber, but Gosling practiced constantly so they wouldn’t have to use a hand-double. He played through all the scenes that required it, and some of the music you hear in the film is actually him. You won’t even notice that, though. No, you will be busily gobbling up every second of this swoony romance and watching them struggle to build careers in Hollywood. La La Land isn’t a new story, but it’s told in an old/new way, which makes it feel fresh. It’s also bright and wildly upbeat, which is a massive step away from most theater options right now. I gave La La Land an A, which is high praise from someone who openly dislikes musicals. (Yes, it’s an outrage. Just post your angry responses to that comment below. I know they’re coming.)
But…is it OK for your kids? Is La La Land worth a full-blown babysitter-night-out, or could you save the cash and just TAKE your kids with you?
Well, I watched it with my 9-year-old and can tell you that you liked it, but didn’t love La La Land. She barely noticed the handful of F-bombs that were dropped and rolled her eyes through the huggy-kissy parts. She was also a little confused by the shiny dance numbers because, as stated above, her Mom doesn’t like musicals and never shows them at home. Kids who DO enjoy musicals, on the other hand, will go nuts over La La Land! I think it will especially appeal to kids (10 and over) who are theater buffs or hoping for their own Hollywood careers. Even better, YOU will get to scratch a movie off your Must-See List! So YES, take the kids to see La La Land and save that babysitter cash for a huggy-kissy night-out of your own.
(La La Land opens December 16th. Click HERE for showtimes.)