debbie in la

I think what makes people hostile about La La Land isn’t the movie itself. Standing alone, it’s a lovely movie. But when you get down to the principle of the matter of its popularity, it makes people who actually love musicals really angry. I guess it’s taken as a compliment when people say, “I normally don’t like musicals, but I loved La La Land!” But it’s really not. It just means you don’t watch musicals and most likely only watched that movie because it was the trendy thing to do and wow, it was great. And you attack the people who say they didn’t like it by saying, “You guys are talking shit about it for no reason.”

No. Not at all.

People who didn’t like La La Land actually regularly watch (AND LOVE!!!) musicals. And it’s astonishing to us that people are losing their shit over a movie that has been done a million times, and done better. It’s not a brand new thing just discovered and executed perfectly. What’s annoying is you all acting like it’s new.

White people falling in love in Hollywood? Fred and Ginger. That was their whole shtick. DECADES worth of movies. A musical about Hollywood? “Singing In The Rain.” And you don’t even have to go back to the older movies. A modern musical? A modern musical with a much more realistic ending? “Once.” And it’s like nobody praising “La La Land” knows what “Sing Street” is.

Anyone who claims La La Land is the best musical they’ve ever seen is either 1.) A liar, who didn’t watch musicals in the first place and probably doesn’t even like them, or 2.) Has really bad taste in musicals. Like this is coming from somebody who loved the film, but can see the faults in it. Faults that would be nitpicking from a musical watcher, but are ignored by the people who, before La La Land came out, had no interest in musical movies and honestly probably don’t want to see anymore unless they’re like La La Land.

Which means that you’re not going to see the SAME STORY done SO MUCH BETTER that La La Land was based on and inspired by.

I’m bitter. It seems like everyone fiercely defending La La Land were the people who ridiculed theater kids and scoffed at Broadway and only took part in viewing a musical in the first place was so they would be in the loop, and now since they were exposed to a musical, they see how great they are and can’t take people saying negative things about it. And they won’t consider going to look at the movies that started it all. It’s hypocritical and insulting.

La La Land was nice, but it isn’t a special movie. The way I see it, it’s just getting the awards that Whiplash deserved.

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“Quarterback” by Young Thug | Choreography by Devin Solomon

at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in LA

ft. Josh Williams, Shaq Reed, Mikey DellaVella, & Devin Solomon

Bus Stop (1956)
(Also known as: The Wrong Kind of Girl)

After resolving her bitter wrangle with Twentieth Century-Fox and forming her own production company, Marilyn was tempted back to Hollywood to play the lead in a screen adaptation of William Inge’s 1955 Broadway hit. The result was what many considered to be Marilyn’s finest dramatic performance.

Marilyn’s business partner Milton Greene, did much to design the look of the picture. Under the terms of her new contract with Fox, Marilyn had approval not only of the script but of the director and cinematographer as well. First choice John Huston, who had directed her so well in The Asphalt Jungle, was unavailable. Lew Wasserman suggested Joshua Logan, who was persuaded to take on the project when his friend Lee Strasberg vouched for Marilyn’s abundance of talent. Initially, Paula Strasberg was not allowed onto the set. However, Marilyn’s intercession, and Lee’s behind-the-scenes insistence, led to his wife being hired (for a whopping $1,500 per week) for the first time to steady the star’s nerves and help her perfect her accent.

Location shooting took place in the first part of 1956 in Phoenix, Arizona for the rodeo footage and Sun Valley, Idaho for mountain exteriors. The enormous temperature difference between the desert and the mountain gave Marilyn a nasty case of bronchitis, and shooting had to be suspended as Marilyn was admitted to hospital in early April. 

Marilyn, as ever, was “difficult” during shooting. It wasn’t just her old bugbears, fear of failure, and low self-esteem; she had an increasing dependency on barbiturates to contend with. She was also, for the first time, in a position of executive power. Co-star Don Murray, for one, found that she was not always a caring boss. The only actor on the set whom Marilyn struck up a friendship was Eileen Heckart, who had recently starred in the Arthur Miller play A View from the Bridge.

With scope at last to express her creativity, Marilyn made some brilliant decisions. She vetoed the sumptuous costumes that wardrobe came up with, picking out a shabby dress and deliberately laddering a pair of fishnet stockings. Marilyn also gave the “chantoose” character of Cherie a stutter in moments of high tension (a detail from Marilyn’s own life), and a tendency to forget her lines at important moments.

In the final version, much of Marilyn’s monologue with Hope Lange in the bus, in which she gives a highly dramatic performance, was cut after Logan was put under pressure to shorten the movie. Marilyn believed that this cut cost her an Oscar nomination.

Screenwriter George Axelrod had Marilyn very much in mind when he adapted the original stage play. In the character’s revealing speech to young Lange on the bus, she says: “I’ve been goin’ with boys since I was twelve - them Ozarks don’t waste much time - and I’ve been losin’ my head about some guy ever since. Of course I’d like to get married and have a family and all them things…Maybe I don’t know what love is. I want a guy I can look up to and admire. But I don’t want him to browbeat me. I want a guy who’ll be sweet with me. But I don’t want him to baby me, either. I just gotta feel that whoever I marry has some real regard for me - aside from all that lovin’ stuff.”

Several copies of the black dress in which Marilyn sang her “Old Black Magic” number are in collectors’ hands: one is owned by model Jerry Hall, one is on display at the Costa Mesa (California) Planet Hollywood restaurant, and another is in the Debbie Reynolds Las Vegas museum.

This is perhaps the only one of the movies in which Marilyn stars that has not been available on video in the United States, as a result of legal wrangles with the estate of playwright William Inge.

- The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor.