La La Land Review

La La Land

The perfect date.

It’s a lot harder to find than it is to type, but at least the perfect date movie is easy to get your hands on now thanks to Damien Chazelle’s magical new film La La Land.

And like any good love story, this is a tale of boy meets girl before said boy gives her the horn.

That’s what happens when women drivers spend more time looking in the mirror than watching the road.

Our less than love-struck heroes drive off on their separate ways; Sebastian follows his uncompromising ambition to make it as a bona fide jazz pianist, via some pretty bad 80’s cover band, while Mia dreams of making it big as a Hollywood actress so she can give up making coffee for folk.

But it’s not long before fate ensures their paths cross again, with only marginally less disastrous results this time around.

Still, maybe third time will be a charm for these two, as they not so reluctantly dance around each other through the changing seasons of their loves and their lives in La La Land.

They say it’s harder to write about a great film than it is to trash the latest big budget disaster.


Well, if that’s true then reviewing La La Land is a nigh on impossible task.

Chazelle has followed up his deliciously taut jazz drumming debut with an unexpectedly nostalgic nod to cinema’s glory days of the fifties.

Astonishingly enough for anyone who’s seen Whiplash, he’s made an even better movie too – one that people will fall in love with and fall in love to for years to come.

Evoking silver screen masterpieces from the past, La La Land blends together old school musicals and silent movie slapstick with drama, romance, fantasy and so much more besides.

Chazelle’s script is brilliant, everything and everyone looks gorgeous, the score fits perfectly – and has already left me cursing the soundtrack’s release date – and then there’s Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

They’re both great actors in their own right of course, particularly Gosling these days, but the easy chemistry they have with each other makes it even easier to fall for their characters.

La La Land is clearly a labour of love for Chazelle, and I doubt a better film will be released next year.

In an age where hope feels like it’s in short supply, it’s comforting to know there are still some things we can believe in out there.

So that perfect date may be in the stars – I know mine is – but the perfect date movie is going to be a little easier to see from January.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

November 2016