I recently saw the film La La Land. It was a lovely film filled with lovely people and music and all that. When I got home, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to my hometown team. I just feel that the overlap of the themes of baseball and made-for-film musical romantic dramadies is as natural as it gets. Here are my musings.
Warning! Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen La La Land or the most recent season of Cardinal Baseball, turn back now.
-Mike Matheny and Ryan Gosling:
These two have very similar styles. They both do very little and pass it off as nuanced. It’s not nuanced, it’s just plain lazy. Do your jobs!
-John Mozeliak and Emma Stone:
The true talent. The better half of each couple. John and Emma have been dragging Mike and Ryan around for years now and there’s no sign that will change.
-Unlikely stars of the second act:
A little over half-way through the movie, which equates to around the All-Star Break for the baseball part of this comparison, John Legend surprisingly carried a good chunk of screen time. This included Legend giving Gosling a verbal reality check as well as showing he was by far the best singer in the film. For the Birds, Gyorko threw the team on his back on his way to leading the NL in home runs in the second half. Both Legend and Gyorko were rewarded similarly. Most people that haven’t seen the film don’t even know Legend is in it, and Gyorko will enter Spring Training likely behind Kolten Wong on the depth chart. No respect.
-The climactic alternate reality ballet and Fredbird:
The final scene in La La Land depicts the life that Gosling and Stone’s characters could have had if they had given their lives to each other rather than to the dreams they came to Los Angeles for. The uplifting music, the peppy dance numbers, the beautiful sets, the stunning visual effects, and the call-backs to all the songs that built the two leads’ relationship made a beautiful preview of the movie La La Land would have been if it had been a contemporary of Singing in the Rain. But here we are in 2016. Reality crept in and turned the scene into a surreal requiem for the two lead characters’ youth. The sadness of the scene is felt because as a viewer, you were invested in their mutual romance, but the romance here can be debated, because both characters reached the adult versions of their childhood dreams, and isn’t that the actual first romance? Under this sort of emotional duress, I could only be reminded of when Fredbird puts his beak on people. Is he eating them or kissing them? Is Fredbird truly what he seems or is he a captive of his station, unable to escape the life he has been pigeonholed into? Such questions of being have been asked long before me, and I can’t begin to find answers, only solace that I am aware that there are questions.
-Like the song in the movie, St. Louis can also be described as a ‘City of Stars’:
They’re all former Cardinals though.
Except Jon Hamm. I love Jon Hamm.
-Well that’s all the comparisons I could think of! As far as a review for the film, I give it a BRUCE SUTTER. It knew how to bring the heat and close things out.
Thanks! Go Birds!