Well, after a vile week, I found the perfect antidote on Saturday – a long lunch with beloved friends, followed by watching the gorgeous movie La La Land.
I shamelessly hijacked the lunch part to whinge about the vicious hand fate has recently dealt me, despite the fact that we were supposed to be celebrating someone else’s great achievement. But after a bit of ranting I felt miles better and we raised happy glasses to a better future. Our golden girl told us that she had opened the letter revealing her lovely surprise, then promptly gone out in the dark, tripped over a scaffolding pole, and nearly had a fatal fall. Nasty things happen.
The furies only used to punish those who deserved it but I suppose in post-truth days anyone can get their come-uppance … I’m not pretending to have lived an entirely blameless life, but who has? And how dull would that life be? Luckily, as Meryl Streep pointed out at the Golden Globes, the movies are there to save us from the horrible and the humdrum.
The best thing about La La Land, though, is that it is not saccharine sweet. Like its cousin, Pretty Woman, it suggests that in a city of dreams and dreamers, anything is possible. But unlike that movie, and despite the fact that it contains so much fantasy and flying footwork, it seems to keep one dainty high heel on solid ground. There is a bitter edge, a sense of lives not lived, mistakes made that can haunt even an outwardly successful life, and happy endings that are achieved by compromise, not stardust and Prince Charming with a rose between his teeth. It does have a lighter message, though – that we can take the good things that other people give us, and use them to build our future on, instead of pining for what can never be.
And, best of all, it has some stonking dance routines. Do go. You will love it. And have a long lunch too, while you’re at it.