La La Land Is The Perfect Holiday Movie
There’s no Hollywood ending for the new musical La La Land, but it takes viewers on a magical journey. The film, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, may be a very contemporary movie. But it is a love letter to those glorious movie musicals of a bygone era. Just picture Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, Doris Day…well, you get the picture!
The Lionsgate film is one everyone will love. With a PG-13 rating (for some language) it’s the perfect holiday movie to take the family to see. Grandparents will love it as much as the younger set. Anyone who’s ever longed to be an actor, artist, poet, playwright or musician will be entranced from the opening production number. Rush hour on the LA freeway never looked as exciting and glamorous as it does in this musical!
The romantic duo of aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) are absolutely adorable. They have sizzling chemistry and can sing and dance like those old time musical stars. Gosling even plays some jazz piano.
When they meet, both are trying to start their careers while holding on to their day jobs to pay the bills. Mia works as a barista at a coffee shop on the Warner Bros. lot so she can be close to her dream world. Sebastian takes any gig he can get to help pay the rent, while he longs to open his own “pure jazz club.”
Their love and encouragement of each other helps each of them find the courage to go for broke, pursuing their separate dreams. J. K. Simmons plays Sebastian’s jazz-hating boss at a nightclub and John Legend plays an old friend who has a successful recording band.
Chazelle’s Valentine to Creative People
Chazelle’s obvious love for creative people shines through this film. It is a lovely valentine to all those who dream of getting that one big break. Chazelle was nominated for an Academy Award for “Whiplash,” and also won praise for his 2009 film “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.”“La La Land” was my favorite film in 2016. It’s one I will watch over and over, as much for the fantastic music as for the dancing. The cinematography is dazzling, Mandy Moore’s choreography amazing, and the costumes are perfection. But the original music—written by composer Justin Hurwitz—is even more memorable.
“Another Day of Sun,” “It’s a Lovely Night,” “City of Stars” and my favorite, “Audition: The Fools Who Dream,” feature unforgettable lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. I’ll be shocked if the soundtrack doesn’t win this year’s Oscar.
La La Land was ranked third on the top 10 films of 2016 by the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association.
La La Land opens Friday in North Texas theaters.