8 things "La La Land" gets horribly wrong about dating in Los Angeles
Award Season darling La La Land opens with a song called “Another Day Of Sun,” and it’s funny, because it’s kinda directly making fun of the fact that Los Angeles is bathed in sunlight basically every single day of the year. And then the movie takes a very harsh turn and starts making fun of something else in Los Angeles: Dating.
My alternate — and true — version of the La La Land opening song is called: “Another Day of Jerks Who Won’t Return My Texts, Even Though They’re The One Who Gave Me Their Phone Number In The First Place (Reprise).”
I watched the trailers for La La Land and instantly fell in love with the movie (sorry), and also immediately hated it. It was painting this picturesque landscape of love (and music) and I was buying its idea of love so hard, and also like WHAT THE F ARE YOU TRYING TO SELL ME ON, LA LA LAND? There’s a scene in one of the trailers that has Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian walking down a pier and whistling, and at first I was like “oh wow, I should hang out at piers more often to meet guys like THAT,” and then I was like “oh no, that is a recipe for DISASTER.”
That is only the beginning of my disdain with La La Land’s portrait of what it’s like to date in Los Angeles, which it gets HORRIBLY WRONG with each passing scene.
1. You can’t just sneak onto the Warner Bros. lot to see a girl, SEBASTIAN.
Sebastian claims he got by the security gate at Warner Bros. and bro, no you did not. That doesn’t happen. Even sometimes if you have a drive-on pass, the security guard still makes you wait there 15 mins while they call your contact to double check that you’ve actually got a meeting. On top of that, considering many guys don’t want to drive 10 mins out of their way down The 5, it’s highly unlikely that someone will go out of their way to drive to a studio lot, and then break onto the studio lot. This is completely fantastical.
And, don’t even get me started on the non-existent coffee shop that Mia works at on the Warner Bros. lot. From my extensive knowledge of the Warner Bros lot — and the layout of the Gilmore Girls set — this coffee shop was like, diagonal from Luke’s and next to Miss Patty’s, which Mia and Sebastian then walk by on their stroll around the lot. There is no coffee shop there.
2. If Griffith Observatory is deserted then something is horribly, horribly wrong, like maybe the nuclear apocalypse has happened.
One of the best song and dance numbers happens during a stroll up to Griffith Observatory, which is completely deserted. IDK if you’ve ever been to Griffith Observatory but it is never NOT packed. Ever. Last time I was there, it was just a regular Thursday and I had to park close to a mile away, and I got lucky. Cars were parked halfway down the hill, and that’t not including the tour buses, and at its busiest, Griffith can sometimes have 10,000 people hanging out there.
So don’t you try and tell me that Mia and Sebastian just happened to waltz in, and there’s not another soul in the world hanging out on the hilltop. That is just straight up LA blasphemy. Stop lying to the people, La La Land.
3. Don’t go with a guy, any guy, to a jazz club.
This is just common sense.
4. Don’t go with a guy, any guy, to a jazz club that appears to be off an abandoned parking lot.
The one Sebastian takes Mia to literally looks like it’s off three our four different side roads, in the middle of a parking lot that used to belong to a K-Mart, which is now out of businesses and has been for 4 years and is currently overrun with raccoons. Romantic! And also horribly bone chilling and the location of a few homicides!
5. A dude will never walk you to your car.
If you live in LA, you know how fun it is to find street parking. Usually when I meet someone, I end up parking like, half a mile away because I can’t deal with busy street parking, and also I can’t parallel park, so I find a nice spot in some far-away residential area and hoof it. Here’s how the end of the night usually goes:
Dude: This was fun! Where are you parked?
Me: That way. [points far away]
Dude: Okay bye! [leaves]
Even good friends of mine won’t walk me to my car if it’s like too far away, so Sebastian walking Mia to her car, all the way up Griffith, is ridiculous.
6. Driving from Hollywood to Santa Monica can’t happen like [snaps fingers].
While I still frequently get lost driving around the Valley, I can recognize the landmarks of Hollywood with ease. I can tell you for a fact that Mia’s apartment is situated around the Hollywood Tower Apartments (because I recognized the string lights on the rooftop, OKAY?). One second, Sebastian is over in Mia’s neck of the woods, and the next, he’s by the beach.
Not knowing exactly what time he was driving that way, it was dusk while he was on the pier, so it’s night-ish and here’s what the traffic looks like at that time of day:
Even if the guy REALLY, REALLY LIKES YOU there’s a solid chance he’s not driving in that traffic. No one is willingly driving in that traffic. No one is driving in that traffic just to go for a quick stroll down the pier, so ???
HOW DARE YOU TEMPT ME WITH THIS ROMANTIC DATE.
8. If you run into your ex out and about, you do not sit and listen to his jazz number.
Instead, you either 1). Locate the nearest exit and make a B-line for it as quickly as humanly possibly, 2). Duck behind something large, and hope that they never saw you so you can sneak out without being seen whatsoever, or 3). Pretend you have no idea who they are, and smile and laugh as if you’re the happiest person in the world so they KNOW how happy you are.
There is no other option.