La La Land in 2016

A 5 (of five) Star Review


I’d heard about this movie from a few sources and really wanted to see it. I didn’t follow those sources, because of (what?) SPOILERS. So I avoided reading anything on it up to this point.


What? I’m still inside the six week curfew.

From what I did know, it was a musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. (OMG, they sing, too?) I truly couldn’t imagine what a musical released in 2016 would look like. Does Spiderman Cha Cha with Mary Jane? Will Superman Tango with Lois?


Alright, alright. But while this film did not take itself too seriously, I became seriously involved. Don’t get me wrong. I do mean “chick-flick” seriously involved. You know, “I laughed, I cried, I woke my husband up once.”


LaLa Land
Featuring Sebastian played by Fred Astaire, played by Ryan Gosling.
With Mia as played by Ginger Rogers played by Emma Stone.


In case you don’t know who those people are, check out this clip from YouTube of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers in Too Hot to Handle.
I used to watch those movies as re-runs on TV with my mom, and I thought they were boring. Of course, I was a tweener at the time. As a grown-up, I can now understand my mother when she said it was pure magic to see Fred and Ginger dance. I do believe I’ve seen it now between Ryan and Emma. All the way from their first dance to the closing number.



The premise brings us Sebastian, a down on his luck jazz piano player, and Mia, a struggling starlet who dreams of big screen movie success. By the way, she doesn’t like jazz. In fact, she tells Sebastian she hates it. He pulls her from the stereotype jazz she’s been fed all of her life (Smooth Jazz 101, Elevator music) and introduces her to the true roots of jazz (Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson) which is what he specializes in. The chemistry ignites.


When John Legend appeared, my heart skipped a beat.


And the closing is not the expected, hoped for, “happily ever after” either (even if it has been more than six weeks, I’m not totally giving away the ending. I’m not heartless).


Go see this tribute to song and dance movies. If you’re anything like me, you won’t stop smiling through the whole thing. Until the end.



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