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A Love Letter to La La Land

November 6, 2023

Some movies stand out as timeless classics in the film industry, while others leave a lasting impression on our minds and hearts. La La Land, a musical masterpiece by Damien Chazelle from 2016, belongs to the latter group. This captivating movie explores love, dreams, and the allure of Los Angeles in a fresh and original way.


  1. A Love Letter to Los Angeles

A mesmerizing traffic jam that has been transformed into an impromptu song-and-dance number on a Los Angeles freeway serves as the opening scene of “La La Land.” A movie that openly celebrates the City of Angels is immediately inspired by this spectacle. This film will rekindle your love for Los Angeles if you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting or residing there. The movie paints a vivid picture of the city’s beauty and charm by showcasing well-known landmarks like Griffith Observatory, the Watts Towers, and the Hermosa Beach Pier, among others. You’ll want to travel to the locations it depicts or, at the very least, take in the city’s vibrant culture and history from a distance after reading this cinematic love letter.

  1. The Power of Dreaming

Anyone who has ever dared to follow their passion will find “La La Land” to be incredibly relatable. The story of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician with aspirations of starting his own club, and Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves as the film’s main character. The dreamer in all of us can relate to their tales of ambition, struggle, and the pursuit of artistic fulfillment.” La La Land” serves as a reminder that our aspirations are worthwhile pursuits in today’s world where practicality is frequently prioritized over passion. It gives us the motivation to stick with our goals despite obstacles. The movie skillfully demonstrates how pursuing one’s dreams can result in extraordinary moments of personal development and artistic achievement, even in the most difficult situations.

  1. A Musical Extravaganza

La La Land is primarily a musical. The movie perfectly choreographs its song and dance numbers, evoking the heyday of Hollywood musicals. Justin Hurwitz’s catchy songs are enduring and have a way of sticking in your head. The songs improve the storytelling and elicit a range of emotions, from joy to melancholy, whether it’s “Another Day of Sun,” City of Stars,” or “A Lovely Night.”

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling put a lot of effort into learning the songs and dance sequences, and their chemistry is undeniable. The characters’ struggles and authenticity are enhanced by this commitment, which makes the movie even more compelling.

  1. A Bittersweet Love Story

La La Land is unquestionably a love story, but it deviates from the typical romantic film formula. Instead, it investigates the complexity of love and possible sacrifices for a person’s dreams. The passionate nature of Mia and Sebastian’s relationship is also tempered by difficulties that put their loyalty to one another to the test.

The movie does a wonderful job of capturing the highs and lows of relationships while also pointing out that falling in love isn’t always easy. You get a strong sense of how fleeting life is and how beautiful moments are that can never be relived from the ending, which I won’t spoil. La La Land stands out from other Hollywood romances because it is a realistic portrayal of love that many people can relate to.

  1. Stunning Cinematography

The work of cinematographer Linus Sandgren in “La La Land” is breathtaking. With its vibrant colors, creative camera work, and meticulous attention to detail, the movie is a visual feast. Long takes are used in the dance sequences to give the performance a sense of immersion and continuity. A true cinematic masterpiece, the movie’s visual aesthetic complements its emotional depth. The film gains authenticity and charm thanks to the choice to use realistic effects and shoot on location. It’s a welcome change from many modern movies’ reliance on CGI. The characters’ journey through the ups and downs of their lives is reflected in the cinematography, which captures the magic of Los Angeles.

  1. An Ode to Jazz

Jazz is a crucial component of “La La Land,” and the movie honors this defining style of American art. The story centers on Sebastian’s love of jazz music, which serves as a compelling backdrop for examining themes of tradition, creativity, and artistic integrity. The movie uses jazz as a metaphor for the characters’ own journeys because it is both timeless and evolving. The effectiveness of music in evoking feelings, telling stories, and establishing connections is effectively illustrated in “La La Land.” It serves as a reminder that even in the most trying circumstances, music can lift our spirits and bring us closer together.

“La La Land” is a cinematic gem that merits viewing due to its moving music, captivating visuals, and heartfelt storytelling. It’s a movie that inspires us to pursue our goals, appreciate Los Angeles’ natural beauty, and comprehend the nuance of human relationships and love. La La Land is a truly magical and unforgettable experience, regardless of whether you enjoy musicals or just enjoy well-made and thought-provoking movies. Why then should you watch “La La Land”? Because it’s a love letter to life, love, and the pursuit of dreams that will leave an emotional and lasting impression on you. This is my favorite movie of all time, and I hope to see all of you in attendance at the Vines Center for Student Activities Movie Night on November 7 at 8:00 p.m.

Here are my favorite quotes from the movie to get you excited.

“People love what other people are passionate about.” -Mia

“I am letting life hit me until it gets tired.” -Sebastian

“I am always going to love you.” -Mia

“I’m a phoenix rising from the ashes” -Sebastian


Written by Justin Rockey

Justin Rockey is a senior Communications major. He is very passionate about the story and creativity of La La Land and was honored to be able to share his excitement with the student body through this blog.