A friend of mine is a budding film producer who left a very successful film company to do her own thing. She had suggested at one stage that I adapt a book that I love into a film but we never got past a first treatment. Such is the nature of parenthood and your dreams - they are often at logger heads with each other.
This week she resurfaced after months of going to ground, she needed a companion to see a film with and I had read a good review somewhere about La La Land and so I said yes, though I knew from some of the publicity images that it ran the risk of being grating.
I arrived on time. She stood with tickets in her hand, two bottles of water and a box of Maltesers and as we passed the ticket clerk I said "is it a good film, what are people saying" and he returned "it's great... if you like musicals" to which I looked at my friend like "what the hell have you got me into?"
Suddenly I was panicking about a potentially long-winded drawn out rom-com with an annoying Emma Stone and an overbearing Ryan Gosling.
The opening sequence initially didn't help with a woman who, sitting in a traffic jam, starts singing a song to pass the time which causes a sort of flash mob to take over a Los Angeles freeway, at which point I was shifting in my seat thinking "this movie is going to go one of two ways and I am really not in the mood for 3 hours of this shit" .
In hindsight I was looking at an absolutely brilliant opening to a superb and magnificent film which I think will be one of those films as memorable as Grease, as zeitgeist as Ghostbusters or Swingers and I am so glad my friend got me off my desk chair because by the time I shared my very real and streaming tears in the final moments of the film I felt all the warm fuzzy and tingling feelings I used to get when going to the cinema.
La La Land is for the hopeless romantics and the ones who forgot about romance. La La Land is for those in the struggle and those that are about to throw in the towel. If you see one film this year at the cinemas, make it La La Land.