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Review by Chris Heller
Rating: (2 out of 5)
Friday, 10/14/2011, 9:00 PM
Feature presentation, $12 at Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
THIS IS A CLASSIC ”Boy moves to Los Angeles, boy gets mixed up in gay porn, boy falls in love while escorting” tale. You know, just that normal, ordinary kind of stuff.
Based on a novel of the same name by gay actor Andy Zeffer, La La Land follows Adam (Matthew Ludwinski) after he treks out West to launch what he hopes will be a gargantuan acting career on film and television, only to end up crawling through rotten jobs, with little money and zero casting callbacks. Along the way, he’s matched with a cast of characters straight out of the Sex and the City reject bin: a D-movie actress named Candy (Allison Lane) who eschews the job hunt to shop, gossip and land a sugar daddy; a meth-head photographer (writer-director Caspar Andreas) who lures Adam into the gay porn business; and a closeted sitcom star (Michael Medico) who really, truly, honestly cares about him.
To be fair, there’s a lot to compliment in La La Land. It’s shot with a slick, sterile look that seems to, at different times, idolize and satirize the Hollywood life. The caricatures are absurd to the point of ridicule. Candy tries to sell her used panties online, then hires a “slave” with a kink for being dominated to do housework, while the head of a porn company Adam works for refuses to stay on set during filming since, “This side of the business does not appeal to [him] at all.” Andreas fits plenty of laughs into the comedy, but with a catch – he ditches it all with an atonal, sentimental finish that’s more Hollywood than the world he’s spent the last hour-and-a-half butchering.
And that, ultimately, is a stretch too far. La La Land holds a mirror up to Hollywood, but can’t spot its own blemishes in the reflection.