When confronted with what is tantamount to pure cinematic joy, don’t over think it and just go with it.
It’s the City of Angels where ten new dreamers arrive in town every hour for everyone hope that never quite makes it. Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress who is slinging lattes to movie stars and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a dedicated jazz musician spending countless hours in dingy cocktail bars with audiences that would rather hear ‘Elevator Music’ then anything by Thelonious Monk. Together they find the kind of happiness they deserve, however as their individual successes begin to mount they are forced to confront realities and make decisions that slowly tear at the fabric of their love affair.
La La Land is the epitome of cinematic joy from its exceptionally mounted opening number to its heart rendering yet grounded finale that gives audiences nothing but satisfaction during a ride that is exceptionally well spent.
Writer/director Damien Chazelle is growing by leaps and bounds and has truly become a filmmaker that isn’t afraid to put exactly what he wants on the screen. He paints Los Angeles in a Neon Day-Glo haze of heat and hopefulness that finds its way into the story and into the very nature of these characters that we are tracking. It’s the epitome of Classic Hollywood.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone aren’t exactly known for their prowess in singing and dancing…but that’s exactly why everything they do works so damn well. It allows for us an audience to revel in the pure joy of the moment and the emotions that they are getting across on the screen. They simply sell us on their love.
La La Land is truly about how we truly have to live as a species; in the moment.