Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
For our last installment of A-Z Movie Reviews I talked about Interview With the Vampire. This week we are talking about La La Land. I know we jumped past the letters “J” and “K” but I don’t have any movies that start with that letter so here we are, on the letter “L.” Alright, now that we have cleared that up, let’s get into it.
What it’s about:
While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.
La La Land is such a magical feel good film and there are so many things I love about it. It’s been a long time since I watched it but I had the same feelings I had the first time I saw it all over again.
Damien Chazelle did something incredible when he created La La Land and it’s one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a long time. The idea of creating a musical in our time period that is totally reminiscent of musicals from the past, was just wonderful to watch. The moment the film opens with that crazy musical number on the freeway, it immediately transports you in an indescribable way.
The thing that I love even more about the story is that it has a classic love story feel with Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian’s (Ryan Gosling) journey. We watch the two of them have their first meeting which doesn’t go too well, and then we follow them down a path of falling in love as they both try to balance their careers.
It’s a love story full of ups and downs and it does a great job of showcasing what a Hollywood romance is like. Mia and Sebastian are a couple on different career paths that begin to drive them further away from each other. Sebastian is off following his dreams of being a successful jazz musician while Mia is going through painful auditions to reach her dream of becoming a successful actress. They encourage each other to follow their dreams no matter how much they know it will hurt them to be apart.
I just love watching them fall in love so it’s heartbreaking when they are not together at the end of the film. It’s a literal gut punch that rips me to shreds every time I watch the final scene. That montage of what could have been does not help either. I’m not even kidding, I cry my eyes out every single time and watching this time was no different. The ending gives me a feeling of some of my other favorite heartbreaking love stories from years past, particularly Splendor in the Grass, and The Way We Were.
The Musical Numbers
As I said earlier, La La Land is such a magical film with some amazing musical numbers. My personal favorite other than the opening number on the freeway, would have to be the one between Mia and Sebastian when they perform “A Lovely Night.” It’s just so beautiful to me because of the location and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have such great chemistry. I love the dancing because it’s such a neat way to show their flirting without words.
If you have been to Los Angeles, then you know it’s not the shiniest sparkly place in real life like it used to be. Damien Chazelle and Cinematographer Linus Sandgren really turned it into a place you would want to be. The colors were bright and the streets were clean, it really was just like the Hollywood from many many years ago. Los Angeles was a character of it’s own throughout this entire film and every location stood out in its own way.
La La Land is such a great film and it’s no surprise to me that it won six Academy Awards. I think even if you are not really a person who is into musicals, you will still enjoy it.
- Shutting down an LA freeway is no easy feat and I think about how difficult it must have been every time I watch the opening.
- Auditions suck and this film does a great job of showing that.
- This is clearly a fantasy movie because there is no way I, as a woman would be walking my happy ass down the streets of Los Angeles in the middle of the night.
- Emma Stone is my favorite and she is literally THE best in the pool party scene when Mia requests Sebastian’s group play “I Ran.”
- Seriously, the ending of La La Land will ALWAYS wreck me.