Remember musicals back in the 1940’s and 50’s? Well maybe you don’t but your parents might and your grandparents definitely will! La La Land is a throwback to these musicals with a modern rom-com twist that successfully blends the two genre’s together making everything that is old new again. Two lead actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have impeccable chemistry and help transport the audience to a style of film making that nods beautifully to the past and remains relevant for current audiences.
Mia (Emma Stone) is an barista/wannabe actress working on the Warner Bros. lot who after a series of hilarious auditions (one of the best montage’s in the movie) hears some jazz music in a club from the street and connects with Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who is a down on his luck musician wanting to reignite the genre of jazz music and can’t seem to hold down a steady job long enough to make a plan.
After a not so stellar meeting the two find their common denominator and the typical rom-com tropes kick in and move the film along with plenty of show stopping moments and an unforgettable soundtrack that will be in your head for weeks after the film is over so be prepared to purchase the soundtrack or add it to your playlist on Spotify. Both Stone and Gosling have pipes to carry the film in both duo and solo performances in show stopping numbers.
The chemistry between Stone and Gosling has been showcased before in Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad, but this film really solidifies that bond while also showcasing how well they work on their own and then come together to compliment each other and feel like an actual couple in shared moments. It really is a struggle for most films to get right and these two are clear masters of their craft and this shines through in this film.
La La Land moves into masterpiece territory when halfway through the rom-com trope ends with a kiss and you think that the movie is over, from here it moves into a final act that sees the characters fully explored and developed as both single entities and as a couple. It is in this final act that the film earns its stripes as masterpiece, intricately exploring Sebastian’s dream coming true and the sacrifices he must make to achieve this, both professionally and personally, when Mia hits it big in the acting world and her role reversal with ordering from the new barista’s on the Warner Bros lot, alternative timelines are explored and the payoff is a rewarding close to what could be seen as a horribly predictable film.
Overall La La Land reunites Stone and Gosling elevating them to the performances of their career. By combining a stellar musical inspired soundtrack with old school filmmaking techniques and a twist on a modern rom com elevate La La Land beyond nostalgic margin to modern day masterpiece. An opening number “Another Day Of Sun” sets the tone for the rest of the film and shows that musicals can still exist in todays superhero saturated society of films.
La La Land is playing in cinemas now