Glen McAdoo: La La Land
I probably should write about Trump’s double standard for Houston and Puerto Rico, or his tax reform giveaway to his children, or his rift with the Secretary of State who, according to 12 sources called the president a “moron,” or his temper tantrums, or, or. But, I need a break from the Trump follies and I imagine you do also. So let’s go to the movies.
“La La Land” is not just a fantastic film, it’s a term that is frequently used when referring to Los Angeles.
I finally got around to watching the movie several weeks ago, and have watched it three times since. I can’t get enough of “La La Land.” The music is marvelous, and the acting and dancing of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is truly wonderful. Stone is particularly impressive. Such a gifted talent. Along with Hugh Jackman, Gosling is one of the most versatile actors around.
The movie’s pictorial views of Los Angeles are breathtaking and very accurate. It brought back many fine memories of Hollywood, USA. I really believe that the entertainment industry and Tinsel Town tend to rub off and influence many who live and work in and about Los Angeles. It was that way with me.
I had an assistant, Sandy, who produced and directed amateur theater. I wrote a skit for her once. It was a comedy about politics (what else?). It was such fun to watch the crowd respond to what I had written in just the way I thought they would.
Sandy truly loved the theater and managed to work a full-time job, at which she was very good, and work in the theater at nights and weekends.
She was a pretty good actor herself. I remember a very beautiful and outstanding young actor named Marylyn McAvoy whom Sandy discovered.
Unlike “Mia” in the movie, she never got that big break. That’s the story of probably thousands of young actors in La La Land, male and female, who have the talent but just never make it. Sandy moved to Fresno when her husband was transferred. Last I heard she was back in Los Angeles working in amateur theater again.
There was another women who worked in our office who was close friends with Elizabeth Taylor. Like I said, Tinsel Town touches many in L.A. When I was running for the Simi Valley City Council, I held a fundraiser at which my attorney said he could get a great comedian to entertain. He was right; he was not only a terrific comedian but an impersonator. He got the break he deserved and went on to stardom. You’ll see him every time you watch “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He’s Brad Garrett who played Raymond’s brother.
The company I worked for at one time also owned Columbia Pictures. I was the company coordinator for a purchasing program designed to help small minority businesses get started. As a result I got to work with a fine administrator at Columbia Pictures. My wife Lynne and I got a personalized tour of the movie lot, where Columbia was located, and were shown the movie “Ghandi” in the company theater before it ever was released.
There was a huge parcel of land on the south side of Simi Valley where hundreds of western movies were filmed in the ’30s, ’40s an ’50s. It became known as “Hopetown” after it was purchased by Bob Hope. Many who worked in those old westerns started a movement to preserve the land as a movie site. I loved those old westerns and got involved helping them while I was on the City Council. I honestly never though we would be successful, but we were, with the help of folks like Glenn Ford. It helped me get re-elected when I got the vast majority of votes from the folks living in the south end of town.
Words cannot express what a truly outstanding person Bob Hope was. With the help of the City Manager, we worked out an arrangement, which was not even close to what Hope should have gotten. But it was a big tax break. Yes indeed, Hollywood, sooner or later, touches many who live or work in and around La La Land.
If you’re ever in Los Angeles visit the Griffith Observatory which was prominently featured in the movie. I’ve been there several times and truly enjoyed the experience. No, I never danced in the galaxy with Lynne as Gosling and Stone do in the movie. You should not expect to either.
If you haven’t already, see the movie. Musical fans will love it.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.