La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Release Date: 12th January 2017
We’re only halfway into 2017, and already this film has pop culture references aplenty from that one dance scene we can see in the poster to our left. When Love Island is replaying the scene out for a date, and The Simpsons has a La La Land episode, you know you’ve made it. Probably. La La Land is a musical which calls back to the heydays of Hollywood, making it something for the older generation to latch onto, as it plays out a story of love with song and dance, but the infusion of jazz helps shift gears into something contemporary as it debates the genre’s relevancy.
This is a story of ambition versus love, and the upbeat musical numbers Emma Stone likes to dance to constantly clash with the jazz Ryan Gosling likes to wallow in. It’s an interesting film which shows the highs and lows, most certainly the lows that a youthful relationship can bring, though I do question if the situations the two characters are initially in are all that bad to begin with.
It’s the flow that makes La La Land such a dizzying waltz, and the sombre ‘City of Stars’ track which often pops up to ruin the mood adds so much weight, so much sadness to a film about trying to be something, rather than the one who serves coffee to someone who is something. With the success of Whiplash and now La La Land, maybe jazz will help enrich more couples with dreams outside of the big screen? Is this the start of something wonderful? Or simply a dream Damien Chazelle cannot make true?