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.
Movies are supposed to feel magical. They transport us to worlds both familiar and alien; relay stories ranging between grandeur and intimate scale; and introduce us to an array of characters we’ve known our entire lives along with those we’ve yet to meet. La La Land, from Whiplash writer-director Damien Chazelle, is 2016’s most magical and completely marvelous film. From start to finish, La La Land pays homage to classical Hollywood musicals in a wholly engaging and visually stunning tribute — one that features first class performances from co-leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who impressively dance and sing along to its wonderful soundtrack.
Emma Stone plays Mia, a young, aspiring actress desperately hoping to make her break in Hollywood, but is unfortunately stuck working a barista job on a soundstage lot. Opposite her, Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian is a down-on-his-luck pianist whose admiration for jazz guides his desire to manage his own jazz club in L.A., but is rather left performing renditions of Christmas songs at a local restaurant.
The two eventually find what they’ve always needed in each other, but as these things always go, there’s initially some chance encounters in which the two butt heads and express how uninterested they are in each other. But it’s apparent that the pair has wonderful chemistry, brought to light early on in one of the film’s best pieces, “A Lovely Night.” The couple elegantly dances around an L.A. street corner as the sun sets — the scene not only being gorgeous to look at, but Stone and Gosling’s voices evoke similarly as much beauty.