La La Land
Just when you think you’ve seen all of the great films at the end of the year, something like La La Land comes out of nowhere to take you by surprise. In a year where my favorite film thus far had been a modern day western about a pair of bank robbing brothers, here is a modern day musical to blow it out of the water. I was looking forward to this film, but on paper it didn’t seem like anything that I would love as much as I do. If it hadn’t been written and directed by the same person who brought us Whiplash in 2014, this would have barely been on my radar. With him on board, the fact that the leads happened to be Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were simply icing on the cake. The fact that it was an homage to old school musicals… I can’t say I was excited about that.
Leave it to writer/director Damien Chazelle to prove me wrong. He so easily took the spirit and class of the old school musicals and combined them with a great modern love story. La La Land is what I want to have to sit through when my wife wants to watch a romantic comedy. It’s funny, engaging, relatable, and emotional. I don’t think there are two actors out there today that have better chemistry than Gosling and Stone have and, in their third film together, they have only proven it. Chazelle gathered a perfect cast to bring his old school script to life. While it focuses on an actress and a jazz pianist chasing their dreams, this is a film I think everyone can relate to. This is the musical for people who don’t like musicals. If you can’t stand watching people sing and dance, make it past the opening scene and you are in for one of the best cinematic experiences in years.
Chazelle has made an absolutely beautiful film from every aspect – the acting, cinematography, music, choreography, story, even editing. Even though this is his only his third feature film, this is nothing but a masterpiece. I can’t wait to see what Chazelle does next, he already has my money. This is the film people will look back on 50 years from now and reference it as they do with Singing in the Rain or Casablanca. It’s an absolutely perfect film and one I couldn’t wait to watch again the second I left the theater. La La Land is a film I will continue to revisit and I feel it will stand the test of time.
Believe me, I am as shocked as you are that I love this film as much as I do. I could talk about it for days. I loved nearly every second of it and the more I think about it, the better it gets. I honestly hate writing reviews for movies that I love because there is nothing to critique. All I can do is give you my highest recommendation for this film and hope you go and see it. So please do.
Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes