This past weekend, I went to the movie theater with my mom. We had been planning to go see "La La Land" and were excited that a theater near us was showing it. The movie had received mixed reviews, so I was unsure how I would feel about it. I came away loving it.
One thing that I noticed right away with "La La Land" is that Hollywood doesn't make movies like this anymore. From the random but well fitting outbursts of song to the generally clean and happy script, I was pleased from start to finish. There were many opportunities for things to go sour or for characters to be vulgar, but they never went there (besides one f-bomb, which may have simply been to obtain a PG-13 status). It really seemed to be a happy-go-lucky film. Maybe even cute and cheesy. But sometimes you need a feel good film.
The music for this film was truly charming. With jazz roots, the melodies and harmonies are a happy change from the pop music that we often listen to. I was somewhat disappointed with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's lack to be powerhouse singers, but what they don't have in singing, they certainly make up for with dancing ability. Yet, I don't discount the music. In fact, after the film, I went out and picked up the soundtrack. I think there's something in that kind of music that we all forget about (much like Sebastian, I may be an old soul when it comes to music).
One mistake I imagine many viewers make is assuming this movie should be some kind of epic love story. I made this mistake. I thought for certain that what was important was the relationship between Sebastian and Mia. Yet, the ending changes all of that for me. The main things the characters are reaching for are the stars. They want their dreams, whatever that means. The ending also makes the opening song fit back into the story, rather than just being a cute introduction.
Warning: These last paragraphs may container some spoiler material. Read at your own risk.
As an audience, you forget the title of the film. The entire film builds up to Mia have a daydream about what life could have been. While you ache for Sebastian and Mia to end up together, this could have never worked out for them to both reach their dreams. Even in Mia's ending daydream, it's apparent that Sebastian would have had to give up his dreams if he really wanted to support her. And while he could have done that, no one wants a world where one of them ends up unhappy.
So, I can see why the film received mixed reviews. However, if you love music and dancing, then go see this film. If you need a change from the normal Hollywood drama, go see this film. If you have a free evening, I'm telling you, go see this film. You will not regret it!