“La La Land,” a Modern Old Fashioned Musical

By Kaileigh Deacon

Musicals are not a popular genre of movie and don’t tend to bring the crowds that action or superhero movies do. It is also a genre that doesn’t get made very often but one or two times a year one makes its way to the big screen. 

“La La Land” is a new film that takes place in Los Angeles where everyone is doing something to get by while they chase their dreams. Sebastian is a struggling jazz pianist chasing his dream of owning his own club and playing jazz the traditional way. Mia is an actress working as a barista waiting for her big break as an actress. Sebastian and Mia find their paths keep crossing, leading them to a love story set against the back drop of making or breaking it in the city of Angels. 

Watching this movie I was reminded of the old Hollywood musicals from the forties, fifties, and sixties. The way the numbers are choreographed and the story bring to mind classical musicals like “Singing in the Rain,” “An American in Paris” and many others. It really is an old fashioned musical with a modern twist and setting. “La La Land” is a musical and a love story so be prepared for spontaneous singing and dancing for no reason.

I have to say that I found the acting to be top notch and the musical talent well executed. One of the things I particularly like about the film is that the actors in the main roles are not singers by trade. Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sang, danced, and acted with the triple threat talent of legends like Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelley. Gosling especially with the little bit of gravel to his voice and learning all the piano pieces his character had to play knocked it out of the park. The supporting cast is equally as talented sporting names like John Legend lending musical talent to the film. 

Watching this movie I was entertained and captivated. At first the movie was a bit slow and it took a while for the meat of the film to grab me. I am a fan of musicals and completely enjoyed this one. As I’ve mentioned it has the feel of the classic musicals but with a story that is modern to attract today’s audiences. Above being a musical this film was a love story that revolved around two people. While the characters were interesting and talented I would have liked to have a little bit more substance to the story giving us a bit more background into the characters. 

 

While I do wish there was just a little more to this film I was very entertained watching this film. I would give this film four out of five stars and recommend it to musical fans of all ages. You will find yourself humming and tapping your feet along with the music and even singing a familiar song or two.