Movie Review: La La Land

As an avid fan of musicals, I was excited to go see this supposed modern day “Singing in the Rain,” but I left the theater disappointed after watching “La La Land.”

Maybe it was all of the hype surrounding the film, but personally I don’t believe that it’s comparable to the classic great musicals.

The opening scene of director Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” was spectacular visually, even reminiscent of older musicals, but as the film continued it was evident that it wasn’t really a part of the plot and was just added for the awe value.

Starring Emma Stone as a struggling actress, Mia, and Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist, Sebastian, who wants to make classical jazz popular again, the characters proved to be cliché LA stereotypical dreamers. The main characters are two-dimensional, lacking in personality.

One of the few places where there is the opportunity to learn more about Mia is when Sebastian asks her why she wants to be an actress. But she only talks about how she aspires to be like her aunt.

Having one of the main character’s ambition in life to just be like someone else is cheap.

Mia as a character is reliant on Stone’s acting to give her a personality.

Gosling’s character Sebastian comes off as the stereotypical hero coming in to save the genre of jazz that would die or at least severely change without him there to save it. It is reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s white heroes.

The acting is great and so are the costumes, which are whimsical and bright, bringing a retro feeling to the modern day musical.

But the songs aren’t memorable, which is a key aspect of musicals. I left not even remembering what most of the songs were about. Most of the songs seem just added in and not as though they were originally planned to be apart of the movie.

The plot is also lacking. It’s dragged out for the majority of the film and then rushed at the end. It’s a movie that you’ll focus more on the visual than the plot.

Although the ending did have some redeeming factors as it didn’t follow the cookie cutter mold, it was still predictable but appreciated.

If you want to spend $13 to go see a mediocre plot that has been hyped up but has beautiful cinematography then “La La Land” would be a great choice as it is still fun to watch.

A film about following your dreams left me dreaming about what could have been different about it.