Considering all the hyperbolic praise that goes on around awards season, it’s basically inevitable that you’re not going to be ecstatic about all the contenders. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? You’re lucky if you can sit through one of the contenders and not have the word “overrated” pass across your mind’s eye like one of those news tickers down in Times Square. We haven’t even found out what will be nominated for the Oscars this year but even the favorites have a handful of titles that made me shrug with indifference, including Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, and La La Land. God help me if that waste of time and patience known as Nocturnal Animals gets any major nods.
La La Land seems like the only title that would easily start an argument, however. Not enough people saw Fences and there’s not nearly as many passionate defenders of Hacksaw Ridge as there are devoted fans of Damien Chazelle‘s latest. And its that very passionate devotion that was skewered by SNL last night during a sketch featuring host Aziz Ansari. In the sketch, which you can take a look at below, Ansari plays a normal guy who has been dragged into a police interrogation room by two detectives, played by Cecily Strong and Beck Bennett, who go on to berate Ansari’s character over his lack of enthusiasm for La La Land. Amongst the talking points are the amount of montages used, stretches of boring repetition, and the fact that a movie about jazz feature only one prominent black person (John Legend), who is ultimately seen as the paradigm of selling out for fame and money.
That covers a good amount of my issues with the film, though there’s no mentioning of the film’s “influences” serving more as structural blueprints than allusions for Chazelle; the movie could have been retitled The Young Girls of Rochefort 2: Hollywood Hysteria. Still, it’s not like I’ve ever received a grilling for only moderately enjoying the movie, so the sketch is as much making fun of those who complain about the hype as those who believe in it, which gives it a good kick. And bonus points for the Westworld joke at the end.
Here’s the sketch from last night’s SNL: