‘La La Land’ revives the genre of musicals

Mat Shankute

“La La Land” stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as an aspiring jazz musician and actress who both are miles away from their ideal careers. Through a handful of chance meetings, the pair fall in love and try their hardest to help the other realize their dream.

“La La land” (much like Gosling’s character) is a movie that is head over heels in love with an era in filmmaking that has been virtually dead for decades.

The once vibrant genre of the Hollywood musical is revived here, and “La La Land” does this with varying degrees of success.

The musical numbers range from spellbinding to completely skippable, but thankfully the movie moves relatively quickly so it’s difficult to feel bored by the more forgettable music sequences.

The two leads are both fantastic actors in their own right, but when they come together there’s a spark of chemistry between them that is absent in most onscreen romances. This is supported by a surprisingly funny and punchy script that keeps the movie flowing pretty smoothly until about three-fourths of the way in. Sadly, the movie stumbles significantly in its attempt to introduce conflict.

Characters who once felt vibrant and real become underwritten and irrational, almost irritatingly so. “La La Land” redeems itself completely with its fantastic act/epilogue, but the mid-section of the movie just feels like dead weight.

“La La Land” wants to write a love letter to the bygone musicals of the past, and for the most part it succeeds, thanks to its lead actors, beautiful cinematography and set design and the occasional amazing musical number. this movie earned a grade of B+.