“La La Land” is the love story of two dreamers – Mia, an aspiring actress and Sebastian, a talented jazz pianist – searching for success in Los Angeles, a city where many dreams are made, but even more are destroyed. The tale illustrates the challenges faced when searching for a balance between love and ambition.
Expecting a musical with recycled romance clichés, I was surprised at the depth the film had to offer. I’ve seen too many romantic movies where a fatal conflict between lovers can easily be solved with a mature conversation. But the conflict that challenges the love between Mia and Sebastian is more complicated and more interesting. Its resolution is surprisingly refreshing in a genre so rife with stale predictable endings.
The soundtrack is equally capable of moving the audience to dance but also to cry. Illustrating the struggle our protagonists face, the music behind this film is undoubtedly the most important factor that led to its success. It is no surprise the film has received so much recognition for the original songs. While some critics considered imperfect vocals a low point of the film, I felt the opposite. A pitch perfect performance from our Mia and Sebastian would take away some of the realism in this down-to-earth musical and lose much of its message.
Even with all the overdone magic of musicals, “La La Land” still is grounded in reality and uniquely capable of focusing on realistic problems. With this, the film captures the hearts of musical lovers and casual audiences alike.