Despite any reservations you may have about movie musicals (like me), “La La Land” wins you over with star power and style to spare.
I’m not a musical guy per se- too much pep, characters who break into song to express some self-important emotion- and “La La Land” does start off that way: an opening dance number on a Los Angeles freeway that’s designed as a “meet cute” for its leads Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), an aspiring jazz pianist, and Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, to first see each other- while well-choreographed, it has all the pep and posturing of a Pepsi commercial. Then, in a subsequent musical number, Mia is coaxed by her roommates to go out with them for the evening through an equally peppy song-and-dance number. But all that peppy tone starts to change and we get into the traditional story of the star-crossed showbiz types we’ve been accustomed to seeing in movie musicals like “A Star is Born” and “New York, New York” and that’s where “La La Land” begins to shine. Continue reading