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La La Land Movie Review

Reviewed by on Dec 08, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s movie review of the musical romance La La Land. Are you ready for a singing, dancing tribute to dreamers falling in love and trying to succeed in Hollywood?

By: Lynn Barker

In La La Land, Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) are two young people dreaming of success; he as a jazz pianist and she as an actress. What is more important, their romance or career success? Can they ever have both?

Sebastian convincing Mia that jazz is coolSebastian convincing Mia that jazz is coolCourtesy of Lionsgate

Surviving in Hollywood

Mia works serving coffee to more successful actors on a movie lot. Sebastian is a purist jazz pianist/composer playing boring background music in a 3rd rate Hollywood restaurant/bar. These two dreamers “meet cute” during gridlock on an L.A. freeway (he honks at her to move. She flips him off). He wants his own jazz club and she wants a good part.

Sebastian (Ryan) sits in L.A. gridlock trafficSebastian (Ryan) sits in L.A. gridlock trafficCourtesy of Lionsgate

Crossing Paths

Perhaps at fate’s whim, these two attractive young people keep running into each other at various parties etc. They deny the building attraction, often bickering until they finally realize that there are sparks flyin’ between them. Mia auditions for various bit parts all with frustrating results. Sebastian gets fired from piano playing gigs for going “off script” and playing jazz riffs.

Sebastian (Ryan) notices Mia (Emma) entering the roomSebastian (Ryan) notices Mia (Emma) entering the roomCourtesy of Lionsgate

Love and Support

Realizing her current boyfriend is boring, Mia rushes to meet Sebastian on a movie-going date and things accelerate from there until they move in together. Unable to land a role, Mia writes a one-woman play for herself with Sebastian’s encouragement and approval. He is approached by old musician friend Keith (a really cute John Legend) and takes a gig as keyboardist in Keith’s band despite the fact that what he is playing isn’t the “pure” jazz he loves.

On an awkward first dateOn an awkward first dateCourtesy of Lionsgate

Pulled Apart

The band is a success which means touring and separation for the lovers. Mia puts on her play, hardly anyone shows up and Sebastian doesn’t make it to the performance in time. She’s shattered and the couple break up. Will Mia’s career take an upturn? Will Sebastian give up his dream of opening his own jazz club? Will romance triumph?

Keith (John Legend) asks Sebastian to join his bandKeith (John Legend) asks Sebastian to join his bandCourtesy of Lionsgate

Wrapping Up

La La Land is refreshing. We don’t see modern movies like this so it’s fun! There is an amazing opening song and dance number on an L.A. freeway overpass. Hey when you can’t move in traffic, get out of your car and join your fellow sufferers in a rousing song and dance. Crazy but fun. The film is like an old, classic Hollywood musical but with more modern snarky dialogue.

Kissing on a dateKissing on a dateCourtesy of Lionsgate

Taking place over a year, season by season, the movie is joyfully colorful, songs are all good and certainly listenable but not amazing, choreography for Emma and Ryan is simple (hey they aren’t professional dancers) but effective and their singing voices are well… quiet, in some cases almost at a whispering level but it’s their story; the ups and downs of following almost impossible dreams while trying to keep a relationship alive that will lure you in, all the way to the bittersweet ending. If you are a romantic, bring Kleenex. Emma, especially gets to show off her acting range and she can be heartbreaking.

Falling in loveFalling in loveCourtesy of Lionsgate

As far as depicting the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams in tinseltown, from my own Hollywood experience, the film is quite accurate. Whether you end up successful, partially successful or a total failure, the Hollywood system can chew you up and spit you out. A lot of success is luck and who you happen to meet.  La La Land’s celebration of all the talented dreamers who struggle daily for success while trying desperately to cling together for support is certainly uplifting but also bittersweet.

For tweens and teens, there are some slow moments in the film that might seem to drag but lots to enjoy as well. Take your boo as a film date or get the girls (or romantic guys) together and go enjoy something different this holiday season. Despite a few flaws, we think the movie deserves 4 stars. 

La La Land Movie Rating:4

La La Land Movie PosterLa La Land Movie PosterCourtesy of Lionsgate

La La Land Movie is in theaters Friday!


Have Your Say

Are you a fan of Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling? Do you like singing, dancing and seeing it in a film?  Not your cup of hot chocolate? Leave a comment!