The buzz surrounding this film was too good to ignore. Every twitter account and Facebook page that mentioned this film did so with high praise. Is it always a good idea to believe media hype? Nope. Is it worth taking the time to investigate for yourself? Occasionally, yes. So let’s dive in and take a look at “La La Land” in this box office review.
I loved this movie. The opening scene starts off with traffic on the freeway going into Los Angeles and the concept of the story is revealed. It’s another day of sun and all these people have travelled to this city in order to try and become a star. The first song looks like something from the classic 1950’s to 1960’s hollywood musicals. There was a small part of me that enjoyed a laugh for personal reasons during this scene as well. Having been stuck in traffic on a southern California freeway before I related to this moment. The time I was stuck we even got out of our cars and walked around socializing with everyone just like in the introduction. It was relatable, the song is catchy, the choreography was fun and then the movie begins.
The overall plot of the film was definitely different than I expected. It’s very much a boy meets girl type of romance story but it doesn’t end in the way one might expect. That being said, it does provide you a glimpse into what that ending could’ve looked like. The music matched with the story matched with the characters all worked beautifully. The songs were each charming in their own way. I was immediately jealous that the song “Audition (Fools Who Dream)” was written for a female lead. This song is emotional, honest and it exposes the heart of artists who, like anyone who passionately pursues something or someone, dare to believe in hope and their aspirations to become. The other song that I particularly enjoyed was “Lovely Night Dance” and the playful way in which the two main characters related to each other. This song finds some short coming in Ryan Goslings voice but let’s be honest, Marlon Brando couldn’t sing in “Guys and Dolls” and that movie is still fantastic.
The look of this film is prime colors, red, blue, yellow and green. I saw this film twice and the second viewing I noticed how these four colors shape the visual story. The first time we see Emma Stone hear jazz she stops between two lights that are both vertical on a wall. These lights are red and her pose in-between these two lights was absolutely cinematic. The evening her and her girlfriends go out each one wears a different color dress, each of the four colors. When we see Ryan Gosling performing with an 1980’s cover band, they have these colors. I want to be clear on this because everyone wears a variation of these colors. It’s prime crayola crayon colors. It’s in your face and ready for your eyes and it works wonderfully. You will see Red, Blue, Green or Yellow in almost every scene as an individual color shaping that moment. There's even a scene that opens with a small pinhole glimpse that expands to reveal the whole image. It’s great.
The character of Ryan Gosling I identified with as I’m sure others have. He’s a passionate musician who loves jazz music, the history of jazz and the future of it. He’s determined and mostly unwavering in his ideology of life in jazz. He cares about music and he grows to love Emma Stone’s character. Stone’s character was equally enjoyable but she was a struggling actress and writer. She takes plenty of shots at stardom but it’s made clear in this movie that she’s just another face in the crowd to everyone but Gosling. By the end of this film we see that it’s not the case but we also get to see how that could’ve been the case. The ending was a delightful surprise.
“La La Land” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend you see this on the big screen. The music on theater speakers is fabulous and the look of the movie on the big screen is wonderful. If you pay attention to the tone/mood of the songs you’ll hear dynamic differences in each song for each character and you might even pick up the hopeful but ever melancholy tone for each of Gosling’s songs, both instrumental and otherwise. I can’ sing praises enough for how delightful I found my time in the theater with these characters and this story. It’s a film for the entire family and you might find yourself humming about another day of sun.
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