La La Land
Last night a friend and I went over to the movies for a screening of one of Golden Globe's winning movies - La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. I had not seen the previous nor read reviews before watching this movie. What swayed me to the theater was my love for the leading cast.

La La Land or a wink to Old Hollywood Musical Era.

The movie opens up with a traffic jam in contemporary Los Angeles, with cars parked bumper to bumper and its drivers bursting in what is to be one of the many songs in this romantic musical comedy. The first scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie. What seems to be the classic girl meets boy/boy meets girl story, quickly is much more than that. It is a story about ambition,  dreams that come true, and life choices. Beautiful music married to colorfully shot scenes, masterfully echo Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1965) - one of my favorite musicals of all time. 

Mia and Sebastian meet at the end of the opening scene, and as most people stuck in traffic, they do not have a friendly interaction, with the later honking at Mia. This marks the very first of the many times the two will meet, with each encounter punctuated by a musical number. We see Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling express themselves through singing and dancing - which reminded me of another wonderful musical - Singin' in the Rain (1952). As Mia (Emma Stone) struggles to become an actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) strives to open his own jazz club, we are quickly taken by the perfection and masterfulness by which La La Land has been crafted. It is not only original when compared to the current cinematic scene, but is also perfectly executed.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

What I Loved about La La Land.

By now you have probably guessed, that I really enjoyed the musical numbers and the love story. However, there are a few more points to be emphasized about this movie...
  • La La Land, like all musicals, wants us to dream. Anything is possible if you only wish for it! is basically one of the expected sales pitches to which I am happy to subscribe.
  • It is more than just a propaganda of a life in the clouds. Sure, La La Land makes us dream of love and happy endings, but it also seeks to ground us to reality, by reminding us that every choice we make in life sets the tone for our future lives. How many times do we find asking ourselves hypothetical questions led by the familiar "what if...?". With this, the movie seeks to mark its uniqueness, and distinguish itself from modern movies made in the same genre.
  • La La Land does not chase the clichés we usually witness in either musicals or romantic movies. It goes beyond the predictability, and overly-cheesy scenarios, and as such I think will appeal to many. 
  • In the end, the late-act narrative flip (which works in perfectly) will definitely leave you sobbing in the dark as the final credits stroll on the screen, a great reminder of how real and human this movie is. Chapeau, Chazelle!

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land
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The Bottom Line.

If you are looking for a beautiful, uplifting, funny, full of good music and colorful movie, go watch La La Land! I promise - you won't regret it (even if you are not too much into musicals/romantic movies) as it will surely brighten your day!

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