The Lo Lo Love for La La Land

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

Ever since talk around La La Land began, I have been excited for this film.  All the reviews and stories surrounding it just increased my excitement which is both great but dangerous; the more I raised my expectations, the greater my fear was that it wouldn’t meet or surpass said expectations.  All I could do was wait until the film reached wide release so I could watch and judge for myself.  After a few months, Jan. 6, came around and I was there in the theater, sitting down, waiting for the film to begin.  What I watched surpassed my expectations and resonated with me in a way I didn’t think it would achieve.


Before you read on further, this article will contain spoilers for La La Land from this point so continue reading at your own caution.  If everything is all ready and set, then follow me into “Another Day of Sun”!


I have never been the greatest fan of neither musicals or romantic films; there’s nothing wrong about them but there hasn’t been anything that has drawn me to them.  During La La Land’s runtime, I couldn’t help but smile, tear up, and fall in love with everything in this movie.  The movie in general is great but it is the small details that made this movie so much more special and in a way, personal.


The second musical sequence with the song, “Someone in the Crowd”, was not only beautiful, fun, colorful, catchy, and amazingly shot but it carried out a bigger meaning throughout the rest of the film.  From the lights dimming when Sebastian played the piano in the restaurant to Mia seeing Sebastian in the crowd after she ended her one-woman show in the epilogue or Mia putting herself out there by performing her show and being found by a casting director in the crowd, the theme of someone in the crowd was always prominent.  The song almost played another character and both made the relationship stronger as well as played to the point that both were performers.  This also applied to other songs as well as “City of Stars” that foreshadowed the fact that their relationship was bound to end due to the different paths their dreams will take them through or “Another Day of Sun” that set up most of the tone for the film.  These songs were not included for the sakes of being there but they added more to the story.


Mia and Sebastian’s relationship was a key point of the movie’s story and normally, I’m not a fan of a romance moving the story along but with this film, I didn’t mind it.  This relationship that was built felt so special not only because of Emma Stone (Mia) and Ryan Gosling’s (Sebastian) chemistry but also the recurring motifs that were present in the film.  Things like Seb calling to Mia by honking the horn on his car because of how he honked at her for not moving her car after the first musical sequence, “Another Day of Sun” or Mia remembering she had a date with Seb by hearing the song he played at the restaurant.  It made it more special because those details about each other weren’t just thrown off but rather used to create a stronger bond between them.


La La Land felt genuine.  Even if it played off of old Hollywood tropes like tap dancing and singing or made references to classic films like Casablanca, the movie managed to strike a balance between old and new to make something original that I haven’t yet seen before.  It used the seasons to represent the stages of Mia and Seb’s relationship (i.e. Spring: their relationship began to blossom, Summer: showed their happiness, Fall: showed their relationship slowly fall apart, etc.), created new music, showed us new spectacles with the musical sequences, and showed how two young artists were brought together by their dreams and aspirations but those dreams were ultimately what made them drift apart.  It showed how important dreams can be but that there is always reality that we have to deal with.  

Few movies have ever managed to make me tear up throughout most of the film and fill me with happiness, to make motivated to move on with what I want to achieve and yet know that things are bound to change.  La La Land did this.  I could go on and praise things like cinematography or the costume designs  – which were great – but that’s not why I think it felt special and resonated with people.  It was the small details, either character-wise or narrative-wise, that made the movie what it is all the while delivering a beautiful yet sad message of following your dreams even if it’s at the cost of major changes in your life.