City College Times

La La Land: more than a love story

La La Land Is a magical experience worth seeing.

Jordan Elliott, Times Staff

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La La Land is a refreshing modern musical sprinkled with just enough romance, drama and humor to delight most anyone. Starring Emma Stone (The Amazing Spiderman, Zombieland) and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, The Nice Guys) as Mia and Sebastian, this film has all the ingredients to be a shallow passer-by love story. However, the plot-twist and visible growth of the two characters makes it something special. The musical numbers and choreography have a nice flow, which elevates the acting without overcompensating. Songs like “City of Stars” and “A Lovely Night” help capture the dreamy essence that the cinematography elevates, while parts of the plot encompass a very modern L.A. The career changes that both Mia and Sebastian experience set the tone for the two characters that are struggling to pay their dues and figure out how to make their dreams come true. This basis helps further the torrid emotions of young love, failure, and the highs of success. Although many stories push the “follow your dreams” mantra, the plot twist between Mia and Sebastian’s romance and their individual success leaves one with a complex stream of sentiments.

A surprise appearance by John Legend picks up the pieces where the music becomes stagnant and lends a more modern approach to Sebastian’s beloved Jazz. The constant changes that the characters go through save this film from becoming another run-of-the-mill romance-drama. Instead, the true uncertainty of the character’s futures creates an innovative platform for the love story, which is in relentless competition with the artistic dreams that Mia and Sebastian fight with. Creative cinematography seen in such scenes where the two lovers are dancing in the stars, in a Big Lebowski-like floating sequence, is truly magical. La La Land received 14 nominations for Academy Awards, but it is the refreshing layers of character development and ethereal artistry that makes it a must-see.

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La La Land: more than a love story