movie review – La La Land

Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling in La La Land

How much do I LOVE this movie? I LOVE IT. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

First let’s get this out of the way– I ADORE Ryan Gosling. I’ve adored him since I met him and I have followed his career since his Young Hercules days. I admit, I didn’t want him as Young Hercules (I liked the original actor who played the younger version of the demigod) but after I met him, I simply adored him. He was a lovely young man and his sweetness always stuck with me. I have watched almost all his movies (I think I haven’t watched two recent ones?) and Ryan has shown such range and complexity in his roles. One day, I know I’m going to say, “Why yes, that’s me with Academy Award winner Ryan Gosling, thanks for asking.” It’s going to happen. Mark my words.

Having said that, I don’t love every single film he’s done. Even though I’ll say he’s done amazing work (and he has), I can’t say that I have actually enjoyed every film. Some of them were difficult to watch and I’ve only watched them once. Actually, I think there are only a few that I’ve watched more than once. I have watched movies I wouldn’t normally watch because Ryan was in them and that’s just the truth. I follow where he goes.

La La Land is a beautiful movie from top to bottom. Ryan and Emma were amazing in their roles, pulling all the right strings for laughs and for tears. The journey their characters take is filled with love and dreams and so much more. Even though it’s set in modern day LA, there’s a bit of throwback innocence in this world even if dreams are dashed here and there. Both characters hold on to their hopes and dreams without losing heart. The music is beautiful and haunting, light and easy and filled with the same hope of the characters. Both leads sounded well together and apart. I’ve heard Ryan sing before but not Emma, so I was pleasantly surprised, especially with “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”.

The musical numbers blended well with the dialogue, creating a beautiful mix that was never jarring to me. The opening sequence was a definite toe tapper. The songs stuck with me, especially “City of Stars” and the aforementioned “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).” The Epilogue was simply BEAUTIFUL (all music, no singing).

I loved La La Land so very much. It’s more than an homage to those old Hollywood musicals. It’s music and movies and love and dreams and is probably one of my newest favorites…