Besides the year-round sun and mild temperatures, Los Angeles offers itself as a place where dreams can and do come true. The film and music industry stand out as the two most lucrative industries in LA, and thousands arrive everyday in search of making it big and an opportunity to leave their old lives behind.
Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), the protagonists in Damien Chazelle’s musical and rom-com, La La Land, also want to make a name for themselves in the competitive world of show business. Sebastian, a Jazz pianist, dreams of opening his own Jazz bar. Mia dreams of making it past a call back and scoring a role in a real film.
Much like Los Angeles, a city who should never be taken at face value, La La Land is not just a musical. Yes, the transitions between dialogue and musical number are effortless. But Chazelle wants the film to be remembered for more than having a great soundtrack.
Among the neon signs, the Toyota Prii, and the winding concrete interstates, La La Land shines light on modern American romance. Chazelle combines old world charm and modern Los Angeles to highlight the need for persistence and compromise. Somewhere in the middle of Sebastian’s tours with his band and Mia’s quest for her first major role, the audience finds comfort and hope within the madness.
In 128 minutes, expect plenty of laughter and maybe even a standing ovation from the audience, just like one would expect at a show on Hollywood Boulevard