My problem with the Legend sell-out issue relates to some of my other problems with the movie, and a few of its continuity errors (some of them noted in previous posts). Not sure if this spoils anything or not, but here goes: When Mia finally sees the band play, she has a look of utter Puritanical horror while the rest of the crowd seemingly has fun. I guess that means we are supposed to think the song sucks and that the band is a sellout. What bothers me here is that it seems to be the opposite reaction she had when Gosling played in the fun band earlier, the Flock of Seagulls '80s style (which I thought was the best scene in the movie). What's different about the two things, other than one is more successful and, to some extent, original than the other? (The other glaring problem in this section of the movie, or at least for me, was when she calls him and says "You must be in Dallas...or Boston." Just google it with that smart phone--I find this unbelievable.
Since this is a movie ostensibly about genius artists I also find certain things hard to accept, like the one-woman show, the wild success later, etc, etc. Nabokov said if you're going to claim an artist is a genius, then prove it with examples of their art (ok there goes my Nabokov reference for this month).
Other than that this was a very light, often fun movie. I really don't want to be one of the people who tear down something just because it's popular, and I can completely see why this is a success. And yet...this is why I appreciate Zizek's opinion. While I am not sympathetic to Leninism, or overly theoretical approaches to art (save this for a whole different discussion--the Nabokov influence creeping in again), I do agree with his premise in the first two paragraphs. I also find the following interesting:
Edit: I also want to add this quote from Zizek because I think it analyzes my problem with the supposed "chemistry" (I didn't see it) from this very non-erotic couple. I couldn't quite tell why they were even together, but I think Zizek found the answer.Consequently, the ultimate version of the film would have been the reversal of the final situation: Mia and Sebastian are together and enjoy full professional success, but their lives are empty, so they go to a club and dream of a fantasy in which they live happily together a modest life, since they both renounced their careers, and (in a dream within a dream) they imagine making the opposite choice and romantically remember the missed opportunity of their life together…
There is no choice here between their love and her calling: in a paradoxical but deeply true sense, if she were to abandon the prospect of her acting in order to stay with him in LA, she would also betray their love since their love grew out of their shared commitment to a Cause.