Warning: The following contains movie spoilers so if you haven’t watched La La Land but intend to, I suggest bookmarking this post and coming back after you’ve watched it.
When I first heard about the movie La La Land, I thought it was about following your dreams in the city of Los Angeles. But after watching it last weekend I soon realized that La La Land was also about that state of being that you’re in when you’re young and in love.
Who doesn’t remember that time in their lives experiencing young love for the first time? You meet the person of your dreams, fall in love and make plans for a wonderful future together. You think you’re so smart and so grown up and you just know that everything is going to happen just as you planned.
But then it doesn’t.
Watching Seb’s and Mia’s relationship bloom in the movie reminded me in many ways about that time in my own life a million moons ago. Then seeing them not end up together left me shaking my fists at the screen lamenting, “Nooooooo! Not them! They should be together!”
But as disappointed as I was that the La La Land sweethearts didn’t get their happily ever after together, the movie did serve to remind me about a few things about love. With my daughter gearing up to go to college in the fall and potentially experiencing it on her own, I’d say it’s a perfect time to remember:
In the final scene of the movie, Mia finds herself at Seb’s successful jazz club with her new husband. When Seb steps up to his piano and sees Mia in the audience, it becomes clear that they hadn’t seen each other in many years judging from the look of shock and surprise in both of their faces. Seb begins to play a song that causes Mia to daydream about what their life together might have looked like had made different choices. It was a beautiful vignette, exactly how I pictured their happily ever after. Eventually the song comes to an end and Mia leaves the club with her husband. Just before she walks out, Mia looks back to find Seb’s eyes on her. After a dramatic pause where they’re just staring at each other and you’re thinking that in a second they’re going to run into each other’s arms to pledge their undying love, something better happens.
They smile at each other.
They plain and simply smile at each other. Then the movie ends.
This initially drove me insane because I was rooting for them and wanted them to have their happy ending with each other. But however bittersweet it was, I know that it was a realistic ending.
Every so often I think about the young love that I experienced. There was no happily ever after for us. We didn’t ride off into the sunset together. We both found other loves and have our own families now. But when I look back at that time with him, I do so with a smile on my face. And I’m thankful. Thankful and happy that I had the chance to love him and that he loved me back, even if it was just a short time.
Experiencing true love at any stage of your life is a gift but experiencing it when you’re young, impressionable and still growing, it’s extra special. Just as it was for Seb and Mia.