SPOILER ALERT: La La Land is really rather lovely.
(Hope I haven’t ruined it for anyone who accidentally read that.)
To be fair, it was never exactly going to be a hard sell for me. I’m a jazz singer who loves MGM musicals, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Put all these ingredients together and tease me with a poster that mimics the colour palette of Singin’ In The Rain? I am IN.
And the film is truly adorable. Charming, funny, unashamedly romantic… and I mean the latter in the widest sense. There may be a love story at its heart, but above all, La La Land is a film about pursuing your dreams. And there are few notions more romantic than that.
In January 2016, I wrote a piece for Standard Issue called ‘16 Helpful Reminders For 2016’. So naturally, what with it being January 2017, I’ve been thinking about a 17th reminder to add to the list. And after much head-scratching, soul-searching and, yes, watching La La Land, I’ve decided on one. It is… *big musical-style overture* …
‘You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true.’
So said the American writer Richard Bach. And I’m glad he did.
It’s a quote that reminds me of another favourite of mine: Henry Ford’s famous line ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.’ Being the optimist I am, I’ve always taken Ford’s line as an affirmation that you can do something that you suspect, in your heart, you’re capable of. Just as Bach says.
And the reason I’ve chosen this quote as the reminder I’m going to print out, stick on my corkboard (not a euphemism) and stare at throughout 2017 is that this year, for me, is about pursuing the dreams of which Bach speaks. Dreams which I may have, secretly, been harbouring for years – some since I was a little girl; dreams which I similarly secretly, deep-down believed that I did, indeed, have the power to make come true. I started to head cautiously towards them in 2016 and now – as a result of those steps, and thanks to the help of so many people in my life – I’m starting to feel confident enough to properly pursue them.
Because that’s the beauty of taking steps in the direction of your dreams, no matter how small those steps are or how vague that direction might at first seem: when you start heading down the right road, that road becomes clearer. And Bach’s words ring ever truer.
That dream of yours? The reason you have it is because you have the ability to make it come true. Otherwise it wouldn’t be your dream.
Or as Oscar Hammerstein II put it in one of those aforementioned, glorious Technicolor, MGM musicals: You’ve got to have a dream, If you don’t have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?