Why Everyone Is Talking About 'La La Land'

Why Everyone Is Talking About 'La La Land'

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling rekindle their infamous on-screen chemistry in the new film—equal parts romantic comedy and Hollywood love letter.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling rekindle their infamous on-screen chemistry in the new film—equal parts romantic comedy and Hollywood love letter.

Text: Chelsea Douglas

A modern take on a beloved classic, the golden age Hollywood musical, La La Land offers up a near pitch perfect experience. Written & directed by Damien Chazelle (best known for 2013's critically acclaimed Whiplash), the film's light-hearted musical numbers and breezy romance are helped along by wonderful performances by its leads—Gosling as a likable jazz-obsessed jerk, and Stone as a manic pixie dream girl-esque aspiring actress.

Rekindling their prior on-screen romances (in 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love and 2013's Gangster Squad), the chemistry between Stone and Gosling anchors the film, which avoids retro pastiche thanks to its modern touches and sly humor (a particularly good gag sees Gosling performing in an 80s cover band at a typical Hollywood Hills pool party). La La Land has a self-awareness that keeps it from being stuck too much in the past, despite self-referential beats such as a Rebel Without a Cause movie date between Gosling & Stone, and a great supporting turn from John Legend adds some conflict to La La Land's easy-going romance.

Ultimately the film's homage to Hollywood's heyday makes it a film about loving film as much as it is a traditional romantic comedy. With its winking nods to the past, colorful cinematography, and charismatic leads, La La Land's early awards season buzz is definitely justified.

La La Land is in theaters now.

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in LA LA LAND.

UP NEXT

This Week's Top Instagrams With Ariana Grande, Cara Delevingne, And More