Winter Musical Amazes


Erik Calderon, Staff Writer

Mia’s at a party, bored out of her mind, not really interested in the people there. She paces around, then walks past the pool toward the live band playing. And, suddenly she notices the guy on the keyboards. He’s “that” guy that totally inspired and ditched her in a matter of 3 minutes. Mia had been at a party, she didn’t want to attend, and when it was time to go home, as she walked to her car, she discovered that she had parked in a no parking zone and her car had been towed. What else could she do but walk home. As she was walking, she neared a restaurant and heard someone playing the piano. It was the most amazing piece she had ever heard. She decided to pop her head in and there he was. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) had just finished playing; it was his last song in that restaurant because he hadn’t stuck to the play list, and was being fired as she approached. She slowly walked up to him to tell him something, maybe how amazing his playing was, or how handsome he was, or how she was so inspired by his music, we’ll never know, because he just blew right past her

And there he was standing right in front of her, playing in a cover band, looking like he hated it. The band finished their song and the lead singer asked for requests.   She knew exactly what song to request in order to humiliate him for what he done to her that night. Every second, as he played that song, we could see the frustration in his eyes.

La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, directed and written by Damien Chazelle is the story of aspiring musicians and actors in L.A., and of course the specific story of how Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) falls head over heals for Mia (Emma Stone.) The film is rated PG-13, is 128 minutes long and is a musical. Yes, brace yourself; this is a high budget musical, approximately a $30 million musical, that’s already grossed $74 million.   When I told Soroosh that we’d be watching a musical, he was a bit skeptical, but after walking out of the theater, he was glad he went. The film is about Mia an aspiring actress and Sebastian an aspiring musician. Mia wants to be a famous actress in Hollywood and Sebastian wants to own his very own Jazz club. They run into each other three times before Sebastian falls head over heals for Mia.

Mia, a struggling, wan’na be successful actress works at a coffee shop, “on lot,” of a movie studio. She lives with 4 roommates that all seem to be caught up in the flash of the film industry, going to parties and trying to pick up rich men. Mia goes to audition after audition trying to land that big part that will launch her career. Struggling everyday with trying to keep a consistent income coming in to pay her bills while at the same time trying to make it to every audition possible. One night she runs into a jazz musician, Sebastian. Sebastian is also a struggling artist, but he’s trying to open his own jazz club. He has his eye on the building that used to be a famous jazz club, but now it’s a Mexican restaurant. He’s bitter, he just got fired from the restaurant he was working at because he refused to play the list of songs that were given to him, and he desperately needs the money.  He ends up taking a gig with a cover band that plays at parties. And, it’s at one of those “flash” parties that Mia and Sebastian see each other for the third time. Well, as any love story goes, they fall in love and with a few twists here and there, they live happily ever after, both getting what they dreamed for.

What I really liked about the movie is the fact that it’s a musical. It is wonderfully made and reminds me of all the musicals that came out when I was growing up, Singing in the Rain, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Bed knobs and Broomsticks, all those feel good, happy ending movies that you could watch over and over again and never get sick of. This is definitely one of those films and I’ve got plans to watch it again with my kids.

Catch this film while it’s in theaters, it’s worth watching on the big screen, and take the kids, the song and dance will definitely lighten their hearts.