I spend a lot of time pondering classic movies. What sets Casablanca and Rebel Without A Cause apart from The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club? Aside from the obvious wardrobe, technology, and modern techniques, it's the velvety, old-Hollywood flavor. A flavor bursting with clichés before they were cliché and ostentatious editing before there was any other way. A flavor so mundane in today's continental buffet that we sometimes forget to appreciate the monumental progress we have achieved since.
La La Land accomplishes the perfect fusion between old and new, which is fitting because the movie comments on Los Angeles's peculiar habit of fusing things that don't fit. Between the old-fashion cuts and the familiar iPhone chimes, we were reintroduced to the style that made people fall in love with movies, with a flare that struck an entirely new chord.
I sincerely regretted my not-so-small, small sized diet coke. I undoubtedly needed to pee, but I simply couldn't peel my eyes off the screen. I sat in my chair slurping at my colossal beverage while I drank up the film's wonder and felt the joy traveling down my throat. I swooned and beamed and cried as I fell in love with their love. Not to mention, neither protagonists were bad looking. I mean how cute were they in Crazy, Stupid Love?! Or Gangster Squad?!
La La Land reminded me why I decided to move 2,800 miles from home. I uprooted my life to follow my dreams and, based on this film, I moved to the right place. Los Angeles really is the utopia where dreams come true. It's inconceivably romantic, but it's okay to be romantic because dreams aren't meant to be sensible. My dream is to make and be apart of films like the one I just watched and I want my dream just as badly as Mia wants to achieve stardom and Sebastian wants to revive jazz.
And that's the point. Critics have argued that La La Land lacks substance because the characters are underdeveloped. Mia and Sebastian aren't the result of lazy writing, but they are the physical representation of all dreamers--they are the face and the name that prove the notion that dreams can and do come true.
While the film depicted the story of their love, it just as much told the story of their passion. They will always have their intimate connection, but they followed their dreams and their relationship was collateral. When they meet again, five years later, they share a moment. A moment where music transcends time and space. Where Mia and Sebastian find their happily ever after. They remember the love they both shared and in that one brief, shining moment, there was a camelot. But a moment is all it is. Reality shatters the glistening image and the earth continues its rotation. They catch a knowing glance and flash a genuine smile to affirm that they both shared that moment. There's no riding off into the sunset, but it's not sad. Instead, it's beautifully original.
Damien Chazelle is an unapologetic genius. He boldly makes the films that he believes in and won't take no for an answer. He attempted to direct a traditional musical set in a contemporary Los Angeles. It took him six years and a major gamble, but he hit the jackpot.
Catch La La Land in theaters NOW!
Bring your best friend, boyfriend, mother, brother, grandma, seventh-cousin, neighbor, or anyone else for that matter. It's impossible to not like this film!