Why are audiences going Ga Ga for La La?

February 07, 2017, 10:49 AM UTC

Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land has taken the box office by storm, it’s won seven Golden Globes and is nominated for fourteen Oscars.

The film is a love letter to Hollywood and its stars Ryan Gosling and Ema Stone, a struggling musician and actress, led us through the ups and downs of trying to make it big in this legendary part of Los Angles. It feels nostalgic of old Hollywood classics like Signing in the Rain and An American in Paris.

This week in the YouGov office we having been talking about La La Land and whether its wide spread success is surprising.  Let’s face it, lots of people think that musicals are not very cool.  Is there a slight twinge of embarrassment in admitting one is partial to a musical? Such a declaration, can be faced with the criticism of it being a less serious art form and a reminder of some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s more upbeat musical numbers.

However, it is hard to deny that La La land is a feel good film. Some might argue that 2017 hasn’t so far given us much to feel cheerful about. Nothing like escaping into a world of banana yellow dresses and tap dancing. 

At YouGov, we obviously wanted to know more. What does the world think about musicals? Using YouGov’s UK Profiles data we can see that people who say that they are interested in musical theatre, or who enjoy listening to musicals, are 58% more likely to say that they are ‘friendly’ than people who have no interest in musical theatre or do not enjoy the odd musical soundtrack. They are also 111% more likely to say that they are ‘loving’ and 5% more likely to say their ‘heart rules over their head’. Whether musicals are cool or not, our data suggests that musicals lovers are a pretty cheery bunch.

Can these upbeat stats help us unpick some of the story behind La La Land’s success? There is nothing quite like a bit of classic Hollywood musical positivity to help beat the February blues. Was 2017 the right year for La La Land, and are we in need of some more singing and dancing? 

Please let us know what you think. La La Land, did you love it or hate it and why do you think it’s been such a big box office hit?