If you’re a sucker like I am for musicals, you’ll love La La Land!
Like many others, the classics are always on repeat. From Singin’ in the Rain to The Sound of Music and Grease, the sheer joy of watching them never ceases, no matter how many times you watch. The same can be said for stage productions and I remember my first time seeing Wicked, the overall excitement could barely be contained with the songs already memorised before even seeing it. So you could imagine how musical lovers, such as myself, felt when La La Land was announced.
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), La La Land tells the story of two struggling artists in pursuit of their dreams in Los Angeles. The film centers around two individuals—Ryan Gosling’s character Sebastian is a jazz musician struggling to make rent with hopes to open up a club that celebrates jazz’s golden years. Meanwhile, Mia (played by Emma Stone) is an aspiring-actress working as a barista in a studio while juggling auditions.
The two cross paths several times and each time they do, their interactions have been far from pleasant. But after running into each other at a party, their relationship takes a turn, with Mia teasing him for playing in a 1980s pop cover band. While Sebastian helps Mia search for her car post-gig, the two come across a beautiful view of the city and despite the obvious chemistry between them, lament in song (“A Lovely Night”) that the view is wasted on poor company.
However, their common desire to pursue what they love draws them together and soon, Sebastian and Mia start dating. At first, it looks like everything is falling into place—Sebastian lands a regular gig at a jazz club and he convinces Mia to write and direct her personal one-woman show. But when Sebastian decides to join an old friend’s band so he can make a steady income, it puts a strain on their relationship. Sebastian and the band quickly rise to fame while Mia’s stage play garners little success. The lovers start to learn that you just can’t have it all.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Stone and Gosling’s performance, whether they’re fighting over dinner or dancing in the Griffith Observatory. Beyond the romance, stunning visuals, and catchy musical numbers that is reminiscent of Singin’ in the Rain, their portrayal of the vulnerability of aspiring artists feels raw and honest. La La Land doesn’t paint a dreamy picture of life and success, but rather confronts us with the struggle of standing out in a sea of hopefuls when pursuing one’s dreams. It also explores the sacrifices people are willing to make and how sometimes love and dreams aren’t compatible. It is an ode to “the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem.”
If you have not seen it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a movie worth watching again and again and again!
Did you enjoy La La Land? Let us know in the comments below!