I saw La La Land over the holidays, and was kind of underwhelmed. An interesting effort, but didn’t really captivate me. The songs are clever and carry the story along, but aren’t memorable, and are more in a Sondheimesque musical-theater style than pop songs. And in comparison to musicals of yore the supporting characters don’t amount to much; John Legend is no Edward Everett Horton.
I do like musicals, especially for the psychedelic quality they often display, but in thinking about them I realized I was forgetting one of my favorite movies, until I noticed it was finally turning up on TCM: Robert Altman’s Nashville (Sat/Sun at midnight; DVR set.) It’s more like a back stage musical, with the songs occurring as performances instead of intruding into real life scenarios, but you would have to call it a musical of sorts. When it came out in 1975 I thought it was the best thing ever; I sat through it twice in a row. Funny, tragic, political, musical (with the actors writing their own songs.) I haven’t seen it in many years, and have had mixed reactions to some 70’s films I've watched again more recently, so interested to see how it holds up.
I think that Nashville is brilliant too.