I’m going to offend all the hipsters out there by saying this, but it’s true. Everyone loves movie musicals more than live musicals. Yes, movie musicals lack that live element, but unless you’re sitting all the way in front, can you really tell the difference?

That’s why movie musicals are so popular. They offer all the fun and laughter of a musical and a movie, rolled up into a comfortable package. But it’s not cool to say you like movie musicals. For some reason, it seems like you’re not as refined or cultured if you like them. If you don’t believe, check out the comments section later. Someone is bound to talk about how this article has desecrated the honour of true musicals everywhere.

So here are six reasons why we secretly love movie musicals more than live musicals. You can’t stop where the heart goes man.

1. More polished performances

Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian in La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian in La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

Movie musicals have actors and actresses performing multiple takes to get it just right. On top of that, they record their songs in a studio, dubbed over their dance routines, so that it sounds pitch perfect. That’s why all the song and dance numbers look so amazing in movie musicals. They took the best portions of each take, and edit them into a seamless whole.

Live musicals have more authenticity, I’ll grant you that. But the performers only get one shot per show to do their best, which means that there will be some parts which are less than perfect. And for me, those are the parts that remind me that I’m watching a performance, rather than being immersed in a story.

2. Variety of shots

A wide shot of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

A wide shot of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Since movie musicals are made with movie aesthetics in mind, there’s a variety of shots, each connoting a different emotion and serving a different purpose. The language of film adds to the movie musical in a way that other mediums can’t replicate.

For live musicals, you only get the wide shot. Unless you’re at a more sophisticated location, you won’t get to see the close-ups of the characters – and that’s where the emotion lies. We can read their body language, hear their inflections and dialogue and that probably hints to us what the character feels, but nothing beats seeing a close-up on the silver screen to confirm our interpretations.

3. The soundtrack is easily available

Mia (Emma Stone) about to break into song in La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

Mia (Emma Stone) about to break into song in La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

Movie musicals are mostly commercial endeavours. This means that the soundtrack is often out at the same time, or even before the movie itself. You can relive your favourite moments from a movie musical by simply buying the songs you want and playing them.

Live musicals, on the other hand, don’t always offer their songs up for sale. Whether this is a matter of commercial viability or artistic complications usually depends, but that means that you can’t ever listen to the song again without going to another performance. Slowly, your memory of that song will fade… and so will your memory of the musical.

4. Shorter than live musicals

Beautiful scenery behind Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Beautiful scenery behind Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Stage performances can be mammoth affairs that require an intermission (both for the audience and the actors). That is a significant time commitment, and many performance venues nowadays also block mobile phone reception to better enhance the experience. Besides the fact that it’s a little overbearing to prevent the use of a mobile phone, it’s also a little dangerous – what if there’s an emergency and you can’t be contacted?

Movie musicals, on the other hand, usually don’t go past two hours. That makes them more accessible, and easier to fit into a busy schedule. Length does not mean quality, and some of the best movie musicals are less than 120 minutes long.

5. More realistic sets

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) sit near a stage in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) sit near a stage in La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

No matter how you cut it, there’s no way a stage set can be more realistic than a movie set. It can be elaborate, fancy, gaudy, but it’s not going to be realistic. The sheer logistics of a stage prevent that from happening, even if you have a swing set.

A movie musical has sets that look more like what you’d see in the real world, and from better perspectives too. That means easier suspension of disbelief when we watch the show. And since we watch musicals as an escape from real life, wouldn’t we want to live in their fantasy world for those 2 hours (rather than be aware that everything’s manufactured?).

6. They’re cheaper

A movie that has a scene where the leads catch a movie, from La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

A movie that has a scene where the leads catch a movie, from La La Land. Credit: La La Land Facebook Page

Tickets to a movie musical are, at the very most, $39 for Gold Class on the weekends. But you get an incredibly comfy seat, privacy, and a place to put your food and drinks properly.

Tickets to a live musical, are, at the very least, $49 for a seat in the audience. And you usually can’t bring food and drinks into a musical.

It does cost more to stage a live musical (the cast need to be paid properly, and rentals aren’t cheap), so the increased cost is understandable.

La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

La La Land. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So indulge your love of movie musicals with La La Land, which features Emma Stone’s husky, sexy voice in a singing role (finally!). There’s Ryan Gosling too (but I think he keeps his clothes on), who plays an aspiring musician who meets an aspiring actress (Stone). Set in modern Los Angels, La La Land will have you singing along with both leads.

Plus, it’s Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling! No matter which gender you prefer, La La Land has you covered.

 

 

Credits: La La Land Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas