The magic surrounding La La Land has kept me floating since I saw the film. I wanted to see an afternoon movie for weeks but something always got in the way, my afternoon date canceled and Loving was not showing at the movie theatre. All of these things had to be in place for La La Land to come into my world and transport me.
The film itself has the very simple plot that IMDB so accurately lays out, “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.” The simplicity of the plot only adds to the magic of Damien Chazelle, the writer and director for La La Land. He is a master magician in this film. I could spend many words talking about the seamless way music and dance are used or how the cinematography creates romance and nostalgia, but you should see this film for different reasons.
So many of my friends are recovering after the election, but still have a cloud hanging over them. If you didn’t look twice you wouldn’t see it, but it’s there. This tinge of sadness marking every daily action and interaction.
The greatest things about this film are that it achieves a sense of remembering and dreaming and creates hope. The film is almost a dream. The main characters are both shooting for the stars and dealing with the choice all people face. Do you keep believing or turn to “growing up”?
In my experience, someone telling you to “grow up” is really someone telling you to give up. You see a future bright and shiny and they see disappointment and unrealistic aspirations. In the film, the magic is in the tension between romance and reality. This film is able to be honest and show struggle without ever losing its sense of heart-warming whimsy.
When the film ends you are at the same moment sad and hopeful. Chazelle is able to capture the moment when a symphony reaches the peak of a crescendo and can give no more with breaking. He captures the moment when the wave is at its peaks just before it descends back into the ocean. He captures this moment and then leaves you with the reality of life and the hope of life.
This is why you should see this film.
If you happen to be like one of my friends with a heart still recovering and a cloud painting your life with sadness, I think this film might help lift you. It might serve as a reminder that when faced with a choice between reality and hope you don’t have to choose.
If you’re just a person walking through life you should see this film because of its beauty.
There should always be room for beauty.