City of five stars

“La La Land” introduces unique take on musicals

Photo illustration taken from

Story by Cailey Roberson, profile editor

I wouldn’t call myself a musical person. I guess I’ve just I’ve never quite been into characters randomly breaking into song every time they feel a new emotion. However, if “La La Land” was the only musical in existence, I can assure you that I, then, would most definitely be a musical person.

The film’s colorful opening number left a positive first impression on me. It was captivating: from the lively choreography to the jazzy soundtrack, it brought a smile to my face. It was bouncy, full of life, and energizing. With every day being labeled as “another day of sun”, Los Angeles is successfully portrayed as a place of adventure and opportunity. The lyrics are fast-paced and even foreshadowing. Within the first few minutes of the film, I was already enticed.

Shortly after the opening number, the audience is introduced to the two main characters: Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). Mia is an aspiring actress, juggling her job at a coffee shop serving celebrities and an excess of auditions. Sebastian is a jazz pianist and enthusiast, struggling to open his own jazz club. The two characters’, both dreamers, worlds collide and the plot unfolds from there.

Mia and Sebastian’s relationship was a bit cliché at some points, but it was bearable. Boy and girl keep running into each other and eventually fall in love. But, I mean, it’s a musical.

“La La Land” is a story where passion trumps love. The struggle between the two forces is ever-present and evident throughout the entirety of the film.

I approached “La La Land” with an abrasive attitude: a solid sort of “impress me” façade. I had read reviews warning me to stay away and read tweets passionately urging me to see it. I, personally, liked it a lot and recommend it. Catchy songs, mood-capturing lighting, colorful and nostalgic choreography, this film made me laugh, cry, and smile. It certainly did touch and move me.

I shed more tears at the end of “La La Land” than I did watching both “Marley and Me” and the last “Harry Potter” movie combined. Someone must have been cutting onions in the back of the theater.

However, I’m still not a musical person. I am a “La La Land” person.