You know those people who strongly dislike musicals? Yeah, that’s totally me. It even took a lot of convincing to get me to see Les Misérables. However, I usually also regret the decision to swear off musicals, so I knew I had to go into La La Land with an open mind. And, overall, I did like the movie… because it wasn’t over-saturated with songs.
Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the music, but the themes of Hollywood and the overall retro feel of the entire film was very unique. The relationship between the main characters, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone), was very realistic. Overall, I feel that realism is a common theme throughout current mainstream film, such as John Green films and Me Before You. I like the way these new movies and books are ending because, as a millennial, I feel a lot of what makes us unique is how we believe there is no true perfect ending.
In La La Land, the two leads are driven by similar desires: they wish to make it big in Los Angeles. Sebastian is in love with jazz music and wants to have his own club that plays traditional jazz. Mia is an aspiring actress who attends many auditions but never gets called back. It seems that neither of them is willing to work their way up like most do. Instead, they just want the popularity as soon as possible.
Eventually, both Sebastian and Mia are unable to be physically there for each other due to their increasing success in their respective areas. The end of the movie is sad but satisfying. The ending even reminds me a bit of Titanic, in which the tragedy could have been avoided if some slight adjustments were made.
The reason why this movie is so influential to me in particular is because it is so different from what we want to believe. Sometimes it is almost expected that if we follow all of the steps to get to a dream, it will eventually work out. Sacrifices, even ones that are not expected like love for a career, are specific to every person.
A lot of people — and this is also true for a lot of romance movies — give up everything in their life to be with that one person. This movie shows a different reality — one that is often true. La La Land works as a nice reminder to millennials that although love suffers, you don’t have to suffer for it.
— Gina Capperino, Former Assistant Blog Editor