MovieReviewMaven's Review of La La Land

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ages 12+ | Worth Your Time

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Grade: A Rating: PG-13, 128 minutes In a Nutshell: With a theme song that will be stuck in your head for a long time, this unexpected romantic musical feels like one of those magical movies Hollywood use to pump out decades ago. Beautifully shot in CinemaScope, it features the glamour, hope, sacrifice, pain, and dreams found in Los Angeles. It’s very entertaining and honest, already winning a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, as well as a big trophy for both of its lead actors: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Uplifting theme: “People love what other people are passionate about.” - Mia (Emma Stone) Here’s to the ones who dream… “You gotta give this everything you got.” - Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) Things I liked: Emma Stone’s face can show a thousand different expressions. She is so charming that you just can't keep your eyes off of her in every scene. It’s fun to hear some good jazz. Sebastian explains, "You can’t just hear it; you have to see it.” I know they must be partially or even completely manufactured, but I loved all the pretty LA sunsets. Ryan Gosling. Good on you. He can do it all. It even looks like he really played the keyboard. Ryan and Emma Stone have great chemistry. This is not their first movie together. I love the scene where they hold hands for the first time. I remember those breath-taking moves from dates gone by. It's really such a breath of fresh air. Keep those musicals coming. John Legend! Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle. Nice job! I liked how the movie announced the seasons, reminding us how the seasons of our life come and go. This film reminded me of last year’s film Café Society that makes you ache with love, regret, and longing. Is this film a love letter to Los Angeles or Hollywood or being passionate about your dreams? Or maybe all three? The musical numbers easily blend into the traditional storytelling. The sequence at the end was done so well. I didn't expect to see J.K. Simmons in a musical! Things I didn’t like: I love Emma Stone, but I’m just wondering how much more fantastic this could have been with Anna Kendrick in the female lead role? Maybe match her up again with Justin Timberlake like when they were together in Trolls? Wow, can you imagine how great the soundtrack would have been? As it is, Emma and Ryan aren't what I would call "powerful" singers. If Director Chazelle was going for "sweet and simple", then he nailed it. That string of hair that constantly droops in Sebastian's face. The sound isn’t always quite in sync with the lips. It was funny, but also super annoying how Sebastian would honk loud and hard when he went to Mia's house and pick her up. Really? Be a gentleman and go to the door, Bud. It conjured up images of great dance numbers with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, although not nearly as good. Interesting lines: “Why don’t you want to do it anymore?” – Sebastian “Because I think it hurts a little too much.” – Mia Funny lines: “This idea that we’re re-imagining Godilocks and the three bears from the perspective of the bears…it could be like a franchise. There’s a lot we don’t know. There could be 4 bears. We don’t know.” – Carlo (Jason Fuchs) “It’s pretty strange that we keep running into each other.” – Mia “It IS strange. Maybe it means something.” – Sebastian “I doubt it.” – Mia “Yeah, I don’t think so.” – Sebastian “You’re a real…um….what’s the word I’m looking for?” – Mia “Knight in shining armor.” – Sebastian “Weirdo…that was the word.” – Mia Tips for parents: This is pretty safe for all ages, but your daughters will probably enjoy it more than your sons. It’s a romantic musical after all. 1 F-bomb; otherwise, no other profanity. You see a couple living together out of wedlock. Plan on listening to your daughters sing these songs over and over again. @trinaboice
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Okfor ages12+