Movie Review: LA LA LAND

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in LA LA LAND.
‘La La Land’
Director: Damien Chazelle
Grade: 4 out of 5
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling
 “La La Land” is about two young artists in Los Angeles who are trying to make their dreams come true, Emma Stone portrays Mia, a struggling actress who juggles between being a waitress and going on auditions. She somehow keeps running into Sebastian, portrayed by Ryan Gosling. He wants to open up a Jazz club in an old L.A. spot that used to be a famous club back in the day. He struggles between playing the music that he loves and wants to play, and the artistically empty music that is going to pay the bills.

This maybe a story that you feel you have seen before, and honestly you probably have, but the gimmick here is that this is a throwback to the old school Hollywood musicals of the 1940’s and 50’s. The characters will break out in song and dance to jazzy musical numbers. Not as many as I thought would occur, but they’re still in there. Luckily the songs are pleasant and move with a nice pace. The dancing scenes are fantastic with the choreography being completely stunning, especially in the opening number. You can feel the audience in the theater wanting to break out in applause, but then realizing the people on screen can’t hear them.

Emma Stone is just as sassy and funny and charming as we usually expect her to be. She’s able to flip between comedy and drama effortlessly. Between “The Nice Guys” and “La La Land” Ryan Gosling is becoming one of my favorite actors working today. He’s also able to switch between drama and comedy with ease. There is a lot of this movie riding on their chemistry, and it totally works. Some of the dancing scenes may go on just a hair too long, but the fact that you get to watch these sequences happen in a modern day setting makes you appreciate this unusual experience.
 With all the bells and whistles of the singing, dancing, and bright beautiful colors, it would be easy for this movie to fall apart if the story wasn’t good. Luckily this would be still be quite an effective movie without all the musical numbers. A big hearted fantasy of love and drama set in the very real world full of dreamers striving to make their dreams come true. An amazing accomplishment.
-”Marquee Mark” Markellus

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