La La Land Lives Up To Expectations



Mia and Sebastian in a scene from “La La Land” with a beautiful sunset in the background.

By Emi Cardinale, Production Manager

I was extremely excited to see “La La Land,” and it definitely did not disappoint. It portrays a young couple’s love story through captivating imagery and quirky musical numbers. Throughout the movie, the story of two multifaceted characters, Mia and Sebastian, are both impacted by their relationship with one another, yet stay true to themselves.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling do a marvelous job of portraying dynamic leading characters who are not defined just by their relationship. The movie tells of a classic romance without reducing the characters to their relationship. Mia (Emma Stone) has her own aspirations aside from Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and vice versa. They are their own people and the fact that they’re in a relationship together is only one facet of their lives, which is a fresh change from many romance movies.

“La La Land” does a good job of intertwining an innovative storyline with a classic movie feel. I watched it with my parents and my father absolutely loved the tributes to older movies. It takes everything that’s appealing about older films, like classic charm, and makes it modern enough for a new generation to enjoy. The storyline itself is simple, but it’s told in a way that doesn’t feel cheesy or too predictable.

The few main musical numbers are breathtaking and just simply beautiful. The one that stood out to me was the opening number that shows characters singing and dancing while stuck in traffic.
However, this movie cannot be considered a musical, for there were far too few musical numbers overall. As an avid musical theatre fan who happens to love Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s composing work (who oversaw the music for “La La Land”), I was disappointed with the lack of theatrical numbers.

Pasek and Paul have such talent when it comes to musical theatre, as is very clear by the magnificent work they did in the new Broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen”, and their music would’ve added more depth to the movie.

Overall, it’s a wonderful film that left me with a warm feeling inside and I would absolutely recommend it, especially to those who love musical theatre and music friendly movies. “La La Land” is a breathtaking, feel good movie that helps you escape from reality, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.