Steve and I finally saw La La Land last week. My friend Robin just wrote a great piece about her strong family movie-going tradition and it made me wish we were doing a better job of keeping up. But at least we made it to the much-awarded film that everyone has been talking about, while everyone was still talking about it.
For those not in the know, La La Land is a very imaginative tribute to old movie musicals, in a modern day setting. From the opening scene, a big dance number performed on top of cars in the middle of an LA Freeway traffic jam, you know that you are in for a different cinematic ride from the usual 21st century fare. This is a world where the young lovers break into song at the drop of a conversation, even floating to the top of the Griffith Observatory to waltz amongst the stars.
I’m still sorting out my feelings about the movie (good acting, disappointing score), but after my return home I began to fantasize: what if my life was a big-screen musical? Well, for one thing, it might inspire me to dress better (the scrappy barista heroine of La La Land sports a wardrobe befitting an heiress.) I might buy a new pair of tap shoes. I took tap lessons back in my early performing days. My “shuffle-hop-steps,”while gratifyingly noisy, were light years from the fancy footwork in the Busby Berkeley extravaganzas of the 1930’s.
But the real challenge of living in “Orela-la-land” would be the lack of plot development. My daily routine hasn’t altered appreciably in 32 years. That would have to change, big time, for my story to earn a good review on Rotten Tomatoes! So, here are some revisions to my life...
I would abruptly quit my church job, right in the middle of worship, dancing up the aisle, pushing music director Ken off the organ bench as I masterfully improvised a haunting farewell tune.
I would then read one of my stories to a small audience at Upper Dublin Public Library, one member of which would (randomly) be the top editor at Random House. She would ask me to expand my little tale to novel length, and immediately offer me a million-dollar advance. After some modest hemming and hawing, I would accept.
My love life would be considerably more dramatic, though with the same co-star. Steve and I would exchange glances across our crowded kitchen, and perform a passionate tango as we argued about whose turn it was to take out the trash. In a poignant scene, I would imagine myself married to someone from a rival children’s theatre company.
Now that I think of it, “Orela-la-land” has definite possibilities. Boogie-ing across the bridge over the tracks at Oreland Station to the tune of “Midnight Train to Georgia!” Flash mob at the Oreland Post Office!