In 2016, writer/director of Whiplash, Damien Chazelle, scored big at film festivals and theaters during the holiday season with one of the biggest hits of 2016, La La Land. Regarded as a luscious tribute to musicals of the 40s and 50s, this film has become a critical darling and audiences have warmed up to it ever since it played theatrically in December 2016. Not only that, but it broke a new record at the Golden Globes by winning almost if not all the categories, from best motion picture in the comedy or music section, to best actor and best actress, to best director, to best screenplay, etc. While the movie is still a phenomenal piece of art, it's also the perfect movie to watch on valentine's day. How is it better to watch it on that said holiday as opposed to just any other day? Well, it's quite simple really.
The movie is a romantic-dramedy about two struggling artists, Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) and Mia Dolan (Emma Stone). The former is someone trying to bring traditional jazz back to the modern day crowd whereas the latter is an aspiring actress who comes close to giving up from failed audition after failed audition. After several dates and discussions about the magic of motion pictures, music, and acting, Mia is convinced to make her own play and even do more auditions, where Sebastian gets a gig with a hip-hop/jazz group that soon become a hit. The perseverance from these two can really make one root for them as their dreams are quite common to several artists who just want to entertain and do what they love. Even with countless struggles and failures, it's best to not give up, for you will still rise like Maya Angelou even when you feel like there's no point. While their relationship does have its troubles, it's meant to be a more realistic yet intriguing approach to two artists learning about each other. Their passions are what really give the movie its heart and soul, both in style and in substance. The aspiring musician and aspiring actress may have different views of entertainment, but they're still artists who care about making a difference nonetheless.
Mia and Sebastian have a lot of chemistry together; while Mia is more into theater and acting than music or jazz, Sebastian shows her how jazz musicians speak thru their instruments whether it be from their practice or improvised performances. When Mia gives Sebastian a tour of Hollywood movie sets, that's where they begin to express their passions to each other and begin to warm up as a couple. Sebastian advises Mia to make her own play, but that doesn't mean he can be there with his fame and music gigs. The real emotional side of the film lies in the conflicts between their passions. Due to their passions being different, their moments of glory sadly intertwine their relationship and it even toggles their hopes for getting their own careers in the first place.
As my 12th grade creative writing teacher once said, "As old fantasy Hollywood musical as it seems, it's also realistic in it's portrayal; it doesn't always work out". That's why the emotions of the movie really pay off, it deals with something many people may go through. Just because one has a decent career going for them doesn't mean they can always be with their loved ones, and that's where the realism in the romance angle pays off. Love is not like a Disney picture as it's more complicated to sustain for some, but the heart from both characters are still there, and caring is what got them their dreams in the first place.
And then there's the film's tribute to classic jazz, theater drama and Broadway, and musicals of the 40s and 50s. The musical numbers were composed by the film's composer, Justin Hurwitz, with lyrics written by musical theater composing team, Pasek and Paul, and they really understand the beauty and amazement of Broadway and motion picture musicals. The musical numbers from Another Day of Sun, to Someone in the Crowd, to the Oscar winning City of Stars bring out the movie its upbeat, whimsical, and timeless feel that will make this film worth being up there with classics like Singin' in the Rain and West Side Story that would really make people dance in their seats. The Fools Who Dream really creates an emotional and character driven arch for Mia as well.
The singing from Gosling and Stone is nothing fantastic at first, especially with the song A Lovely Night, but it warms up as the film goes on, and it fits as they build up to persevere in their dreams and to support one another. The Planetarium segment is pure visual delight and is "pretty referential by trying hard to refer back to those old Hollywood films" stated creative writing teacher. But the one musical number that really shines throughout the continuation of the film is Mia and Sebastian's Theme, as it progresses the optimistic tone of the film while giving Ryan Gosling a real showcase of his piano talents. Don't be surprised if you find a lot to enjoy in terms of the musical numbers, let alone dancing to them.
But I think the main reason this film is the perfect film to watch on valentine's day is not only because it's a love story, but it's a more optimistic and hopeful one. Since this film is about two rising entertainers who despite constant struggles and dilemmas still make it big one way or another, it ends up being quite relatable to anyone who started off struggling at the bottom before making it to the top. The determination and bravery Mia and Sebastian have really sells the movie, and the theme of never giving up and always finding support really pays off. Support is the best thing anybody can use when trying to make a name for themselves, and that's why it's best to not look down upon your closest friends when they help you make it somewhere, everything happens for a reason. And that's why the film feels like such a love letter, it says that you can still make a living out of whatever passion you have just as long as you don't forget about the ones that helped you get there. Complete with a special ending of realization and wonderment at the end that won't be spoiled, take it upon yourself to view this optimistic and bright feature with your soul mate anytime you choose.
La La Land
Action / Comedy / Drama / Music / Musical / Romance
La La Land
Action / Comedy / Drama / Music / Musical / Romance
Aspiring actress serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and jazz musician Sebastian scrapes by playing cocktail-party gigs in dingy bars. But as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 851,733 times
April 13, 2017 at 09:42 PM