“Here’s to the ones who dream. Foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that break. Here’s to the mess we make.”
The allure and excitement of La La Land had initially escaped me; it was only when the controversy surrounding it at the Oscars that finally brought the movie to my attention. And boy am I glad! The splendid movie sheds light on many enticing wonders of being a struggling actress/musician in “the city of stars,” Los Angeles, while beautifully encapsulating the harsh realities of it, as well. Moreover, there are many note-worthy concepts that were brought to my attention through the film.
- Perseverance Not Talent
Both characters are clearly talented, but their talents don’t get them too far, it is their determination and hard work that sets them apart. Despite Sebastian (Ryan Gosling)’s melodic piano tunes, he was stuck playing jingles at restaurants and getting fired. Meanwhile Mia (Emma Stone) had some killer acting skills, but was rejected from nearly all her auditions for 6 YEARS. That is true commitment to one’s dreams, willing to keep getting up, after countless failures keep knocking you down. Perseverance is not giving up after just a few bad weeks, it is giving it your all and best.
2. Follow your Passions, do not Compromise
In the whirlwind of our world, it can be easy to become occupied with your job and earning a stable income. However, true fulfillment does not just come from achieving goals that OTHERS would consider is an achievement or a dream, but doing what YOU want. While taking care of loved ones and providing them a stable life may be your priority, just as Sebastian hoped his gig as the electric pianist in Keith (John Legend)’s jazz band would make Mia happy. If the people around you truly care for you, they would understand your desire to fulfill your passions.
3. Take Chances
This goes along with perseverance. Don’t spend your life thinking about the ‘what ifs’, sometimes you just have to take the chance. Mia’s self-developed, 1-woman play was probably one of the biggest risks she took. However, it wasn’t a success, in fact it was a flop. However, that failure led her to her chance to audition for a huge film and without taking a chance on her play, she may have never achieved success. You never know where life will lead you and you should always take the chance. Who knows?
4. There isn’t a perfect “Happily Ever After”
One of my favorite parts about this movie was the ending. You may be surprised as most people may characterize it as “tragic” or “heartbreaking.” However, the conclusion of Mia and Sebastian not ending up together, gives a harsh glimpse of reality. While most of the movie dramatized the struggles and experiences through its dancing and singing, the conclusion ended on a somber and truthful note about how life changes and sometimes heart breaks.
5. Respect your Past
Once again, the ending revealed a lot about reality. When Mia and Sebastian met at his own Jazz Club, I too, like many others began fantasizing the reunion of the two lovers. However, the subtle acknowledgement of each other was much better than the highly anticipated kiss. It shows how the characters emotionally and mentally developed into mature adults who will always cherish their time together, but still respect the relationships they are in, at the moment. That is much better than any desperate and impractical kiss that unravels the development of the maturity of the characters.
6. Jazz is actually AMAZING!
You may hate me, but I never liked Jazz before this movie. While explaining the importance of Jazz and its melodious tunes to Mia, Sebastian accidentally has infected me with the Jazz Blues and I am totally obsessed.
Overall, I would highly recommend watching the movie because it captures the spirit of passionate, struggling individuals with a creative and fun musical twist. It will surely leave you in a happy mood, listening to the soundtrack on repeat, and hopelessly trying to re-enact the choreography (not that I am).