'La La Land' Defies the Rules of Conventional Rom-Coms!
"How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you're such a traditionalist?"
We’ve all seen our fair share of romantic comedies, and don’t get me wrong, some of them can be great, but sometimes we find the premise or plot to be too derivative of previous films. It gets tiring to watch, over and over again, a couple be together for a while, break up, and then realize that they can’t live without that person. Which is why we were so pleasantly surprised with Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a movie that Chazelle himself thought had a more realistic, grounded, and relatable plot intertwined with drama, comedy, singing, and dancing.
Apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press Association agreed, as they awared the film Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical at this year's Golden Globes. Could Oscar be far behind?
The plot follows the story of an aspiring jazz musician named Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who finds love with Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress. At first, both are able to manage their careers and have a relationship with one another, but as their relationship becomes more serious, changes in their career also occur, leading to compromises and sacrifices being made in hopes that their romance will stay alive.
We thought that Emma Stone gave such an incredible performance as Mia. Her singing and dance scenes were not only phenomenal but a pleasant surprise for those of us who didn't realize she possessed those talents! As for her acting, she was able to give viewers a realistic glimpse into the life of a struggling actress, working in a coffee shop to pay her bills while also attending numerous auditions, and when she didn’t get the part, her feeling of discouragement was completely relatable. She eventually finds success by taking matters into her own hands, writing and starring in a one-woman show which consequently leads to an audition for a movie and causing her and Sebastian to re-evaluate their relationship. SPOILER ALERT --> Their relationship doesn’t work out because they both wanted different things and their careers drew them apart. A bittersweet ending, but also a realistic one.
Ryan Gosling as Sebastian brought this incredible energy, passion, and feeling into portraying an aspiring jazz musician and also showed that he would do whatever it took to support himself and his dreams. Prior to his own success, he would dress up in ridiculous costumes and perform jazz music at pool parties alongside another group of guys, as well as performing at any clubs that would have him no matter what kind of crowd the club attracted. Then he hooks up with Keith (John Legend) and his band begins playing in many different states in front of huge crowds. Ultimately, he settles back in L.A. and opens his own jazz club, which he dreamed of doing back when he was with Mia. In my personal opinion, a very touching and incredible tribute to his one woman whom he really never stopped loving.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we highly recommend it because it explores the type of relationship most of us can relate to, showing us a great romance that doesn't work out in the end but still leaves a positive impression on both involved.
(Image via Lionsgate/YouTube)
- Natalya Gioiella, YH Contributing Writer