‘La La Land’ captures hearts, eyes, and ears

Ella Andersen, Staff Reporter

Ella Andersen, Staff Reporter
Originally published January 22, 2017

When first seeing La La Land, I fell head over heels in love with every aspect. Thinking on it later, could the movie possibly be a grown up High School Musical? I came to the conclusion of no – maybe just because I want to believe my taste has grown from there, but because there was so much to it. La La Land has so many layers that I believe there’s something for everyone.

The scenery works to capture some of L.A.’s lesser areas, but at the same time is completely enticing. The music is phenomenal, whether you’re a lover of jazz or someone who never thought they would like it; and if you’re the latter, don’t let the word jazz scare you. The songs fit so well with the story and the characters. You can listen to the soundtrack and perfectly imagine the scene in your head, the effect is that vivid. The story is amazing. Two dreamers find each other by chance, and their relationship doesn’t initially unfold the way you think it would, but once together, they’re as in love with each other as the viewer is with them.

The movie starts off with a musical number on the Los Angeles freeway in the midst of traffic. The number foreshadows the characters pursuing a dream without much money, and it immediately hooks you. This is the first time the main characters see each other, but it’s not a big deal, which is a little different, and even the second time they’re not together. It’s not one of those movies when the characters meet eyes and fall in love like that. The characters are extremely relatable; Mia is an aspiring actress in the wonderful city of Los Angeles, expertly portrayed by Emma Stone. Stone captures the struggle of auditioning and getting rejected so often that it just seems like it’ll never happen, but Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) fights to keep her head up and to keep pursuing her dream. Gosling is attempting to open a jazz club, due to his love of the genre and it’s slow and painful death. Both characters need each other more than they know, and no matter, they’ll always want the other to achieve their dream, no matter the expense.

The actors put in an astonishing amount of work as preparation for this movie, and it’s shown. Ryan Gosling spent three months learning the piano, so he could play a virtuoso. Both Gosling and Stone learned ballroom and tap dancing, as well as mastering their singing roles. La La Land is one of those movies that you can be in any mood to see, and it will always leave you feeling in the midst of a work of art. You’ll leave the theatre just to realize you want to see it again.