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If this movie hadn't been nominated, I probably would have really enjoyed it. If this movie had a different literal take away toward the end, I may have even loved it. But it was, and it didn't. Not to sound cliche, but they don't make movies like this anymore. I felt it had the right amount of whimsy and fantasy, along with a story line that was engaging and kept moving. Interestingly, my wife felt like Ryan Gosling was a star while Emma Stone was lacking - I thought the exact opposite. But these filmmakers aren't dumb, I will give them that. Take the nostalgia from a well done example of a dying genre, combined with the blatant love note to Hollywood, and you wind up with a best picture nominee in a year when options were light.
For all the La La Land die-hard fans: You Can Visit the Café From La La Land in Real Life It's only through March 6, but for the Friends fans, Central Perk is there all the time. I've taken the Warner Brothers studio tour and it's really interesting. Can't compare with other studio tours since I haven't done any, but we enjoyed the glimpses into both the indoor studio sets - Ellen, Big Bang - and also the incredible magic they can make with the most ordinary-seeming of outdoor spaces a la Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Plus there is a ton of Harry Potter paraphernalia in the museum.