January 27, 2017

I first saw La La Land during its opening weekend in New York. It was before all the hype, before those record-number Golden Globe wins, before the historic fourteen (14!) Oscar nominations. But I’d heard, ‘La La Land is a film to see’. So when I walked in, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The first scene starts with loud shouting and horns blaring during an LA traffic jam. But all that screaming and beeping suddenly erupts into a full on musical. The drivers glide onto the freeway, dancing over cars and bursting into song, reminiscing about the homes and loves they left behind to follow their dreams of one day making it onto the big screen. And from the very first moment, I was hooked. I count films from the Golden Age of Hollywood among my favorites. I’ve watched musicals like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes more times than I can count (and know every word to Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend). And La La Land taps into everything that’s magical from the days of Old Hollywood, capturing that same vintage nostalgia and technicolor dreamscape.

The plot continues, following aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Seb (Ryan Gosling), two starry-eyed romantics who are trying to make it big in LA. Their love story is one of the greats but not without some upsets. But more than a romance, it’s a story about pursuing your dreams. Throughout the entire film, I was captivated, I was inspired, and I almost felt like it was me on the screen. Over the last few months, I’ve been planning a move to LA to follow some dreams of my own, so in a small way it seemed like I was watching my own story. What I love most about the film is there are dreams that are realized but there are also letdowns. It isn’t the perfect ending we’re used to in the movies but that’s okay, and it shouldn’t scare us from going after what drives us. Here’s to the ones who dream…





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