La La Land
Leap into a lovely movie with La La Land.
This new musical follows the love story of Sebastian, a jazz pianist who dreams of opening his own club, and Mia, an aspiring actress. They meet, and after some initial friction, begin to fall in love. The demands of trying to follow their dreams in tinsel town, however, soon put tension on their relationship.
If the plot isn’t striking you as terribly unique, it’s because this movie isn’t about the plot. It’s about looking pretty, and there, it dazzles.
Whether it’s playing out across the backlots of movie sets, surreal dreamlike sequences, or a dance among the stars, this movie harkens back to an age of Hollywood where romantic movies didn’t have to be that sensible. They just needed to be, well, romantic.
The music is fun and bounces between up beat show tunes and jazz love ballads. While no song itself stuns, they’re all welcome and blend very well with the actions playing out on screen. It never feels like the movie is halting to allow for a musical number. They grow naturally out of the scenes.
Ryan Gosling as Sebastian is as charming as ever. After seeing his performance, a lot of women will no doubt add “must play piano” to their dream man checklists. Emma Stone is lovely as well, and her ability to communicate a lot of emotion with very little is welcome in the movie’s quieter scenes.
This is a much smaller movie than most musicals, more intimate. There’s no big Les Miserables company storming Paris, and there’s no loud Chicago-esque dance scenes.
It’s two people falling in love, but then, what more magic do you need?