Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a musical?
When I first heard about “La La Land,” I thought it would be ridiculous. But I’m glad I gave it a chance because this beautiful technicolor film swept me off my feet and took me to my own la la land.
“La La Land” is a romantic musical set in modern-day Los Angeles and tells the tale of Mia, played by Stone, and Sebastian, played by Gosling. Mia is an aspiring actress, and Sebastian has dreams of opening up his own jazz club. The pair both experience failure, triumph and success in their respective fields, and this rollercoaster of a career path directly correlates with their relationship.
Since I was raised in Los Angeles, the nods to local historic venues were what drew me closer to the story. Mia and Sebastian danced through the Griffith Observatory, took a stroll down Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena and had their first date at the Rialto Theater. These moments were nostalgic and exciting and made the cheesiness of the “musical” aspect seem a little more realistic.
One of the things I was most wary of when I went to this movie was the quality of the singing and dancing because I have never heard of Stone or Gosling doing those things. I am so glad they proved me wrong. One of the films shining moments is the tap dance scene in which Mia and Sebastian sing together for the first time.
Stone and Gosling always play charming characters in their other films, but this scene really captivated that allure and showcased their hidden talents. I was extremely impressed not only by their skill, but also by their wit and chemistry on screen. I walked out of the theater in love with the characters and wanting to watch it all over again.
I can’t find a single thing to complain about in this film. The producers’ use of technicolor film created vibrant visuals with colors that pop out at you and pull you in. The storyline is unpredictable and ends by leaving you with two “happily ever afters” – what could have happened when they followed their dreams, and what really happened.
“La La Land” is hands down one of the best musicals I’ve seen, and that says a lot coming from a theater and musical junkie like myself. If you love romance, music, dance and city life, this film is definitely for you.
“La La Land” will be released in theaters on Dec. 25.