Is La La Land worth it? With 6 Academy Award wins, many would argue it is. A somewhat fantastical musical with two of Hollywood’s foremost actors, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. A film which has grossed over $125 million so far. However, some hate it. They complain about the fact that they found the movie boring for the first hour, how Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s voices are horrible, and how the ending was crushing. So how good was La La Land really?
La la land tells the story of Mia and Sebastian. Mia is a struggling LA actress, while Sebastian is a jazz pianist trying to keep jazz alive while finding work. The two of them undergo an incredible journey together, facing traditional obstacles and working through life. The ending threw many people off, adding a major twist to the plot. In fact, many even detested the film just because of the ending.
The film opens with a dance scene on the boulevard where we see Mia and Sebastian in their respective cars. They have not met yet and their only communication is when Mia gives Sebastian the middle finger. We then learn where Mia works and after hours, she accidentally stumbles upon a club where Sebastian is playing. She hears how incredible he is and walks in right as he gets fired. Sebastian being upset, is not cordial with Mia whatsoever. As if by chance Mia and Sebastian meet again and after a while, they start a relationship. With similar goals in their artsy fields, they immediately bond. Their romance was viewed as mundane to some but nostalgic to others. The story of two good looking white struggling artists in Los Angeles who have fallen in love. They undergo “adventures” together, and the fantasy element begins to play into the film a little more. The ending was really what many people stayed for, as Damien Chazelle (the director) didn’t give us a stereotypical Disney ending.
Overall, the acting was stellar by both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The piano playing was incredible though the tracks were pre-recorded by a professional musician. For a musical, Gosling and Stone do not have exceptional voices, but they are on key. Their “typicalness”, helps the viewers relate to them, and they are able to emote exceptionally well. The fact that people despised the ending, is just a testament to the incredible acting. People really became invested in the lives of Mia and Sebastian. Even if you are not a big fan of musicals and fantastical films, I would recommend seeing La La Land because of the variety of themes that the film incorporates.