This is my review of La La Land [DVD] .
If you watch this film only having heard the hype, you will be disappointed. It is best to approach it with no expectations, just curiosity as to why it has attracted so much attention. The plot is fairly thin, predictable and cheesy in places, and neither would-be trad jazz club owner Seb, nor aspiring Hollywood actress Mia can really sing, although Emma Stone seems to my untutored eye to dance quite well, and Ryan Gosling has achieved impressive mastery of the piano to play his part. You probably need to be a lover of big screen musicals really to appreciate this, although there is only one passable song and instrumental “love theme”.
La La Land is “book-ended” with two quite striking and ambitious dance sequences, there are some jazz pieces which might just enable someone like me to grasp what it is all about and the film is saved from utter vapidity by the bitter-sweet underlying message that following one’s dreams is necessary for personal fulfilment, but may be at a high price.