Why, oh why have I waited so long to see the universally acclaimed musical romantic film La La Land? Blame it on my disinterest in such stuff, I guess, even with the six Academy Awards–Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Production Design–that this one bagged. And really, the fact that it won so many awards was what finally convinced me to watch it for myself.
Let me just cut to the chase here right now: La La Land is simply extraordinary, andnot just by the admittedly low standards I have for the “romance” and “musical” genreseither. Extraordinarily made. Extraordinarily filmed. Extraordinarily acted. Extraordinarily paced. Extraordinarily choreographed. Extraordinarily song-filled (these songs are simply extraordinary in themselves, by the way).Just… extraordinary.
True, the actual plot, which follows an aspiring actress (Emma Stone, who the “Best Actress” Oscar was awarded to… andunintentionally also led to the biggest mix-up of the entire evening) and a struggling jazz musician (Ryan Gosling, back to playing lighter roles after starring in violentlygritty smash hits such as Drive and The Nice Guys) as they fall in love and pursue their respective dreams together, admittedly may be the film’s weakest aspect, but even it holds that certain old-fashioned charm that makes the filmso perfectly irresistible.
Indeed, La La Land, despite featuring popularmodern conveniences such as cars and smartphones, feels like it came from an entirely different era, one not infused with all the realism and cynicism that dominates most of our popular culture today, but instead filled with all the Hollywood glitz and glamour that would ordinarily elicit a really big groan from me (as it did for Pretty Woman), but is just done so utterlywell here that it’s virtually critic-proof. End. Of. Story. Next stop: Once, another romantic musicalthat has garnered much praise from critics. Will it sweep me away as much as this one did? Guess that’s just something I’ll have to find out for myself.