WARNING: Contains La La Land spoilers, please don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie!
I haven’t felt so emotionally invested in a movie for a long time. From the moment I saw full-grown adults hop out of their cars in a LA traffic jam to break into spontaneous song and dance, I knew this was going to be movie that described the lens from which I see the world.
La La Land is about a musician and an aspiring actress who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles. Seb loves jazz and Mia loves telling stories on stage. Both are struggling to make ends meet but as a team, they give one another the confidence to pursue their individual dreams.
As their relationship progresses, Seb joins a contemporary Jazz band which gives him the security of money and a stable job. His decision sees him parting ways from his dream of opening a traditional Jazz club. Mia attends one of his sell-out concerts, where she watches him play on an auto-tuned keyboard with a pained look of shock and disappointment.
As Seb goes on tour with the band, they see one another less and less. One night, Mia returns home to a surprise of a candle-lit dinner prepared by Seb. The romantic night turns ugly as Seb tells Mia that he would be touring with the band ‘for the long haul’, and Mia refuses to tour with Seb because she has to stay in L.A for rehearsals. It becomes apparent that what hurts Mia the most is seeing Seb give up his dream to play music that he hates. Seb is hurt because Mia is unable to compromise her work for the relationship. As they argue about their dreams, they are forced to snap back to reality as the smoke alarm goes off. While Seb tends to a burning oven, Mia walks out.
Throughout the movie, we see Seb and Mia loving one another in ways that they believe is best. Tragically it tears them apart. For Mia, the pursuit of individual dreams was so foundational to their relationship. From the moment she heard him play piano, she was drawn to Seb’s passion for authentic Jazz, and his relentless zeal empowered her to write her own play. She’s strong-willed and follows her heart. As loveable as she is, we almost forget that she’s flawed, and had no hesitation walking away from her boyfriend as soon as Seb was in the picture.
Although reserved at first, Seb warms up to Mia’s enthusiasm and undeniable charm. Her down-to-earth personality loosens him up so that they end up singing and tap dancing their way through the night. After overhearing a phone call where Mia’s parents questioned Seb’s financial stability, he made the difficult decision to join a band he hated so that he could have a stable job. While Mia believes that love is enabling the other to pursue their dreams at any cost, Seb believes that love may come at personal sacrifice:
“This is the dream! It’s conflict and it’s compromise, and it’s very, very exciting!”
The movie tugged on my heart strings because I am, and have always been a dreamer. I remember at 10 years old, I won my school’s singing award and was chosen to audition for a solo at the Opera House. My parents didn’t have the time to take me to the audition so my choir teacher offered me a ride.
I remember that car ride because it was the first time somebody believed in me and recognised my creative talents. (Also because my teacher’s car didn’t have air conditioning, and I had to use tissues to clear the fogged up windscreen!) I really wanted the role not so much for myself, but to make my teacher proud. Unfortunately when I stood in front of the judges, I was strangled by nerves and my throat closed up. There’s nothing more painful than letting down people who believe in you, whether it be a teacher, parent, friend or spouse. Rejection stings. I felt Mia’s pain at each failed audition immensely.
Mia: “Since when did you care about being liked?” Seb: “Oh you’re an actress, you can talk!”
In high school I took dramatic arts very seriously. For my high school certificate, I wrote and performed a monologue called ‘True Beauty’. It was based on the character of the ugly stepsister because deep down, I’ve always felt like a villain without a voice. As someone who had to constantly fight against a stereotype that I could not be (the high-achieving Chinese girl), I wanted to give women who failed to meet cultural norms, a chance to share their story. I got very high marks for this project, but it was also the project that marked the end of my dream. Upon applying for university, my parents told me that Western media would never hire a Chinese girl like me.
“I had a dream and then I grew up.”
I spent the next 8 years in events and marketing, and while I love my work, I’ve never quite let go of my passion for drama. I still watch theatre with starry eyes, because the stage reminds me of a time when I was pursuing something that I loved. With the encouragement of my husband, I applied for an Australian acting agency and to my surprise, they agreed to offer me representation. My agent and my husband genuinely believe in my potential, and yet instead of jumping at all my audition opportunities, I find myself hesitating.
My husband shuts down every excuse - I mean, what do I have to lose? The truth is, everything. I love that my husband sees potential in me that I do not see in myself. Much like Mia, his way of loving me is to inject me with confidence and to see me flourish in the way that God has wired me. Like Mia, he would send me straight to Hollywood if the door opened! His knowledge of who I am, and willingness to support my strengths makes me feel incredibly loved.
But I’ve learned to see love as Seb does. While I have dreams to be an actor, I will make joyful sacrifices to ensure that my marriage is never compromised. Because I love my husband, I am willing to build new dreams. Because my husband is the object of my affection, I have reoriented my goals so that we can have mutual passions. Because my husband is worthy of my respect, I am willing to move cities so that he can live out the life that God has called him to live.
When you love another person, joyful compromise follows. I will happily turn down acting work if it means that my marriage stays strong and I have the time and energy to support my husband in church work. Some may call it conservative or a waste of an opportunity - I call it love.
Seb’s character embodies joyful sacrifice. Love for Mia transforms his stubborn Jazz-orientated heart into one of compromise. A life with Mia changed his affections, and redirected is life goals. As Seb and Mia part ways so that Mia can pursue her dream in Paris, Seb makes the promise “I’ll always love you.”
Seb: “I’ll always love you.” Mia: “I’ll always love you too.”
It’s the happy ending that the audience longs for, but we all know that relationships are so much more complex than a naive promise that we make to another person before real sacrifices are required.
This is why the ending is so moving - it’s love in real life. How many of us have made rash promises to another that we simply couldn’t keep? Mia is now a wife to another man, and together they have a child. She stumbles upon a jazz club named ‘Seb’s’ (the name that she had once made up for Seb) and for the first time in 5 years, is reunited with her ex-lover.
As she walks in and sits down with her husband, she locks eyes with Seb and he carefully plays the tune that had originally drew her into his arms. As the song plays, a musicale montage of Seb and Mia’s perfect life where they pursue their dreams and live happily ever after floods the screen. The ending that is only possible in the movies.
As the musicale montage fades, we’re left with Mia stepping out of the club and giving one final, but longing look at Seb. The director leaves us with the haunting question: is your dream worth the sacrifice?
As someone who is hardwired with youthful optimism in a broken world, I found this movie both magical and heartbreaking. To all the fools who dream, you will love La La Land, but make sure you bring some tissues because after all, life is not a musicale:
Here’s to the ones who dream foolish as they may seem, Here’s to the hearts that ache, Here’s to the mess we make.
A/N: Guess who got a lot of writing down this week because work was slow! Hopefully I’ll get my stuff together so I can post more chapters soon. :) Thanks for all the comments, likes, and reblogs. Love you guys!
Pairing: Rob Benedict x Reader
Warnings: drinking, language, self-loathing, physical and verbal abuse
“Maybe I love too hard. Maybe I’m just too much.” She stared out the passenger window halfheartedly watching the raindrops race each other to the bottom.
“So what? So-fucking-what? You have the biggest heart I know, you love everyone and everything so much and you just give and give and give. That is so unique and special.” Her friend looked over to the back of her head, eyebrows knitted together in concern and outrage. “The world likes to take the things that make you special and poke them until they hurt you. It wants to make you cut off the parts of you that don’t fit the glass slipper, but you’re not an ugly stepsister, you’re a fucking queen. Fuck the glass slipper!” She hit the steering wheel for emphasis and the horn echoed through the rain-soaked library parking lot like an exclamation point.
“That sounds painful.” She offered tentatively, still looking out the window.
“Fucking a glass slipper. Sounds pretty painful to me.” Tossing her head to glance back at her friend, they both locked eyes and fell into a fit of booming belly laughter.
“This is why I love you.” They said almost in unison and wiped the happy tears from their eyes.
“But honestly, I love you so much because I appreciate you. Any stupid boy that doesn’t love you every bit as much as I do, is wrong and totally doesn’t deserve you. That’s the standard you have to set, if they don’t love you like your very best friend, then they just don’t deserve you.” Her friend flicked her ringlet curls behind her shoulder in fake attitude and then a broad smile settled across her face. “You’re absolutely perfect as you are, boo.”
“Love you mas.”
“Love you most.”
[s.bucks] #78 // excerpt from a book I’ll never write
hi your local hoe who looks like ugly stepsister from shrek here w 3 4 biases (marks eye is in here and we all know im soft for mark) comin at you with a bias selfie tag shit thing idk but i was tagged by like 3 people p sure it was @/jungwoosnatchedmyweave @/secretlymadeoutofcups and @/iloveyu-ta aka the 3 prettiest bitches i know! ! !
idk who to tag so im picking random mutuals; have fun guise lol
@freakydeakytaeyonq (ily jes and long 2 see your face once more) @bbhsthighs (hi nicole :^)) @psilovepcy (mom?) @nctreacting (bc im p sure u did one before and like u were really good looking? i need more in my life flo) and bc im tired and dont like a lot of people if you see this and want to do it go ahead and tag me so i can see your gorgeous face and feel horrible about my visuals™
Okay so I was a bit ambitious to think I can make a polished version of this in one evening. Originally made to be uploaded on Fairy Tale day for MiraculousAUweek but what can you do
A few notes on this AU version:
After the ‘ugly stepsisters’ , Chloe and Sabrina, ruin Marinette’s homemade dress for the masquerade ball, her fairygod Kwami comes to her aid.
Meanwhile, Prince Adrien struggles with his father’s overprotective nature. He has been forbidden to participate in the ball despite it being in his honor. Luckily, his cheese-loving fairygod Kwami comes along and allows him to sneak to the dance floor.
Surrounded by all the masked party goers, the prince spots a simply miraculous lady in a red spotted ball gown. Awe-struck, he goes to her and the two dance together till the clock strikes midnight.
Marinette struggles to exit before she transforms back. In the process, losing an earring that the Prince would find and later use to search for his mysterious lady in red.
The ugly sisters are characters in the fairy tale and pantomime, Cinderella. They are the daughters of Cinderella's cruel stepmother, who treat her poorly. The “ugly sisters” have been in variations of the story from as early as researchers have been able to determine.
(just because they don’t treat cinderella well doesn’t mean they don’t have hearts- as black as they may be. they don’t want to watch the world get eaten, even if their words hurt their little stepsister once upon a time. so they find redemption in rebellion, in picking up swords to defend their kingdom. they slash through the demons like a broom through cinders. their heroism is rewarded by the same queen they tormented years before. when cinderella pins medals to their dresses, she places a hand over their chests. she seems amazed to see that they do indeed have hearts.)