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Film Review: 'La La Land' Must See for Aspiring Artists

by Todd A. Smith


Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) star in “La La Land” (Photo Credit: Dale Robinette).


Chasing Hollywood Dreams



Everyone who has ever dreamed of seeing their names in bright lights and reaching heights of superstardom needs to see “La La Land” immediately.

The romantic musical will make the talented believe again and make those who doubt themselves and give up, dust themselves off and try again.

“La La Land” is old school.  It’s new school.  It’s smooth and sensual.  It’s romantic.  It’s inspiring.  And it is very, very Los Angeles.

If moviegoers doubt how authentic “La La Land” is to Los Angeles, the opening dance number, which takes place in typical bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles traffic, will prove its authenticity immediately.

Mia (Emma Stone) is a barista on the Warner Bros. Pictures lot.  But like every barista, bar tender or waitress in Los Angeles, she is also an aspiring actress.

The Boulder, Colo. native rooms with several other aspiring actresses who beg her to tag along to industry parties even though Mia is constantly fed up with failed auditions and a lack of progress.

Her friends implore her to go to these parties because she might just make that one connection that launches her career to the next stratosphere.

Instead of meeting Hollywood heavy hitters at these parties, she is constantly running into Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) instead.

Sebastian, or “Seb” as he is called, is an aspiring jazz musician in a generation that does not care much about true jazz music.

Emma and “Seb” bond over their lack of success and eventually motivate each other to reach greatness.

When Emma is ready to throw in the towel it is “Seb” who picks up that towel, washes it clean, and helps her start over with more determination.

After “Seb” struggles to make ends meet and start his own jazz club, Emma motivates him to take a paying gig with the band The Messengers, which is led by former classmate, Keith (John Legend).

However, when success in Hollywood comes, will they be able to maintain their relationship in spite of their hectic schedules?

Stone and Gosling give remarkable performances in “La La Land.”

Mia’s love for the arts is palpable and moviegoers will want to see her succeed on the big or small screen.

Gosling is smooth as “Seb.”  He is just as good a dancer as he is an actor.

The old school style of “La La land” with its contemporary, yet timeless, story sets the film apart from other musicals.

The songs give “La La Land” its spirit.  But that does not take away from the drama and comedy in the performances.

Like the musical “Dreamgirls,” the film “La La Land” is a simple tale of trying to make it in the entertainment industry and the consequences of fame.

Any person that strives for superstardom but does not want to sell out will relate to this musical.

The film shows, in a melodic way, that superstardom is extremely difficult to attain.

Even harder is gaining fame without sacrificing one’s artistic integrity.


Furthermore, it is even harder to maintain healthy relationships while simultaneously maintaining celebrity status.






This article was published on Friday 16 December, 2016.
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